Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è bella) 1997

Life Is Beautiful

Critics Consensus

Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 87

96%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 249,417

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Movie Info

A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni), meets Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with his charm and humor. Eventually they marry and have a son, Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini). Their happiness is abruptly halted, however, when Guido and Giosue are separated from Dora and taken to a concentration camp. Determined to shelter his son from the horrors of his surroundings, Guido convinces Giosue that their time in the camp is merely a game.

Cast & Crew

Roberto Benigni
Guido Orefice
Giorgio Cantarini
Giosué Orefice
Giustino Durano
Eliseo Orefice
Sergio Bini Bustric
Ferruccio Papini
Marisa Paredes
Madre di Dora
Horst Bucholz
Doctor Lessing
Lydia Alfonsi
Guicciardini
Giuliana Lojodice
School principal
Nicola Piovani
Original Music
Tonino Delli Colli
Cinematographer
Simona Paggi
Film Editor
Danilo Donati
Production Design
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News & Interviews for Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è bella)

Critic Reviews for Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è bella)

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (17)

Audience Reviews for Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è bella)

  • Mar 14, 2016
    Buongiorno Principessa! A very powerful film that begins pre-war as a slap-stick comedy, introducing our characters with some memorable clever scenes, but then shows its real genius in the second-half when Guido uses his fast-talking talent to keep his young son's high spirits and childhood naivety intact during their internment in a concentration camp. Guido's character has an extremely and uniquely playful perspective on life that with great skill carries him, his son and indeed his wife, on through some of the most bleakest times anyone could ever experience.
    Ross C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 19, 2013
    Despite allegations that this somehow makes light of the Holocaust, I believe that this film has quite the opposite result. Despite the attempts at comedy by Benigni for the sake of his son, the audience can see the true horror unfolding behind him. A truly beautiful film.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 12, 2012
    Saying perfect really sets a bar for a film. For Life is Beautiful, there truly is a perfect blend of happiness and sadness in the span of 2 hours. The story is delicate and gentle, never burdening the audience with the tragedies of WWII. A masterpiece and incredibly powerful.
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2012
    You could argue that "Life is Beautiful" exploits overly sensitive material, but I'd disagree. I don't think that a film this sweet could ever knowingly have bad intentions. It's got to be one of the most inspirational, most magical films out there, and you'd literally have to have a heart of stone and a soul as black as coal not to be carried away by its whimsical charm. Roberto Benigni turns in an incredibly uplifting, completely honest performance that's as sincere as it gets. You can complain about a film being too or too profane, but don't ever complain about a film being too nice, which, I'm afraid, is what some have said about "Life is Beautiful."
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

Life Is Beautiful (La Vita è bella) Quotes

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