Life is Beautiful is one of the best films to come out of Italy in the last decade, if not the best. Roberto Benigni shows a passionate eye with which he leads the film from both behind the camera and in front of it. The film really plays out in two acts. The first being a love story between two young people in pre-war Italy. One of social class struggle, but it is mostly one of charm and wit. Benigni plays the plucky character of Guido Orefice, a lucky young adventurer who wonders into Dora’s (Nicoletta Braschi) life, and changes it forever. After an interesting incident with a horse, the couple wed and have a child.
The second half of the film is much more sinister as the life of this young, Jewish, Italian family is completely ravaged by the Second World War and the holocaust.
But, hold on a sec, this isn’t just another Schindler’s List, there’s something very special about it. Benigni carries this film by amazingly portraying the hope and love which can overcome all.
We’re showing this film as part of our international week, and it is in every sense an international film, showing highs and lows which are common to every human. If you’re expecting lots of shooting, or girls in red jackets, this is the wrong film. If you’re looking for one of the most pleasant and heart-warming, yet terrifying and tear-jerking films of the last decade, you’re in for a treat.
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