Life is Beautiful Movie Review
It is not everyday that I get around to watching foreign films, but this little film stuck out among the Hollywood blockbusters. Perhaps it was the word of mouth or the 3 Academy Awards, but either way, I had to see Life is Beautiful. It took me two years to get around to seeing it but I have finally watched and discovered what all the fuss is about. Life is Beautiful is an extraordinary film with great acting, great direction, and a riveting story that entertains and saddens at the same time.
Roberto Benigni is the man behind this beautiful film. He's responsible for two of the three Awards that Life is Beautiful received at the Oscars, Best Actor and Best Foreign Language Film (the other is Best Dramatic Score). He wrote, directed, and starred in this fable about a Jewish man in a Nazi concentration camp who protects his child from the truth by acting as if it were all a game, and that in the end, the winner will get a tank. The winner turns out not to be the boy but the audience, as we are sucked into this half-comical, half-serious blend of a WW2 movie where the main character is completely loveable and the supporting cast is just as much so. Benigni's character is so rich with life that by the end it seems as if he has befriended the audience, and his little boy is equally charismatic.
The movie unfolds smoothly and as time progresses, the subtitles seem to go away. Life is Beautiful also proves that what the Nazis did to the Jews can be made into a comedy without making fun of the actual event. As the movie goes on, it is obvious just what the fate of most of the men and women in the camp is, but Benigni's constant flow of energy almost puts the audience into the eyes of the kid and lets us forget about those horrors.
What is one of the funnier movies is also one of the sadder ones, and Life is Beautiful is that film. The title describes the film and the film lives up to its name.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.