Life Is Beautiful

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Product Overview


Studio Disney Educational
SKU 213823214
UPC 786936792270
UPC 14 00786936792270
Format DVD
Release Date 1/26/2010
Essential Cinema
Tear Jerker
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Conjuring keys and hats out of thin air, Guido (Roberto Benigni), a clever Jewish-Italian waiter, successfully courts Dora (Nicoletta Braschi), a beautiful local woman, in Fascist pre-WWII Italy. His life, however, is turned upside down a few years later when he, Dora, and their young son, Giosué (Giorgio Cantarini), are sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Refusing to give up hope, Guido tries to protect his son's innocence by pretending that their imprisonment is just an elaborate game, with the grand prize being a tank. ^For years the box-office champ in Italy and the country's most beloved slapstick comic, the Chaplinesque Benigni took a huge risk with LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. Many people worried that the film would be as offensive as plopping a cartoon character in Auschwitz. (A similar work--THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED, a Jerry Lewis film about a comedian in a concentration camp--turned out to be a disaster two decades earlier.) Although LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL did provoke some controversy, many people found the film to be a poignant, tragicomic story that profoundly reaffirmed the humanity of concentration camp victims. The film became the highest grossing foreign language film in the U.S. and established Benigni as an international star.
Plot Summary
Summary In LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, a endearing Jewish-Italian waiter in pre-WWII Italy courts a lovely local woman. A few years later, when he and his idyllic family are taken to a Nazi concentration camp, he uses his magical gifts of humor and romance to see his wife and son through their uncertain days.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "Buon giorno, principessa!"--Guido (Roberto Benigni) to Dora (Nicoletta Braschi)
Quote "No spiders or Visigoths allowed."--Guido to his son, Giosué (Giorgio Cantarini)
Quote "You can lose all your points for any one of three things. One--if you cry. Two--if you ask to see your mother. Three--if you're hungry and ask for a snack! Forget it!"--Guido to Giosué
Quote "We play the part of the real mean guys who yell."--Guido, supposedly translating a German soldier
Quote "Don't ask for any lollipops. We eat them all."--Guido, still translating a German soldier
Quote "They make buttons and soap out of us."--Giosué to Guido
Quote "Fat, fat, ugly, ugly, all yellow in reality, if you ask me what I am, I answer 'cheep, cheep, cheep.' Walking along I go, 'poo poo.' What am I? Tell me true."--Dr. Lessing (Horst Bucholz) to Guido
Sight and Sound "...[A] magnificent film....Real emotional strength..." 02/??/1999 p.46
Entertainment Weekly "...[Benigni] succeeds, to an extraordinary degree, in reviving the neo-Technicolor lushness and affectionate screwball rhythms of postwar Hollywood....A delicate romance spiked with antifascist farce..." 11/06/1998 p.54
Premiere "...[Benigni] puts a serious spin on his comic genius..." 10/01/1998 p.29
New York Times "...Mr. Benigni effectively creates a situation in which comedy is courage. And he draws from this an unpretentious, enormously likable film that plays with history both seriously and mischievously..." 10/23/1998 p.E14
Box Office "...[The film] explores the power of laughter to lift the human spirit even in the face of extreme tragedy..." 07/01/1998 p.125
Los Angeles Times "...[Benigni is] one of the world's most irresistibly funny people. A mischief-maker percolating with infectious energy and a machine-gun verbal style, he blends an Everyman aura with the ability to infuse his characters with believable innocence..." 10/23/1998 p.C1
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's surreal, agonising, sad and, yes, funny....[It's Benigni's] ambition, wit and sincerity that help his film find surprising poignancies, in the middle of humanity's most terrible absurdities." 06/01/2012
Roberto Benigni
Nicoletta Braschi
Roberto Benigni
Cast & Crew
Giorgio Cantarini - Star
Marisa Paredes - Star
Horst Bucholz - Star
Nicoletta Braschi - Star
Sergio Bini Bustric - Star
Roberto Benigni - Star
Guistino Durano - Star
Lydia Alfonsi - Star
Roberto Benigni - Screenwriter
Danilo Donati - Costume Designer
Danilo Donati - Art Director
Nicola Piovani - Composer
Vincenzo Cerami - Screenwriter
Simona Paggi - Editor
Tonino Delli Colli - Director of Photography
Elda Ferri - Producer
Danilo Donati - Production Designer
Mario Cotone - Line Producer
Gianluigi Braschi - Producer
Roberto Benigni - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1998
UPC 00786936792270
Number of Discs 1
Color Color
Name Roberto Benigni
Award Category Best Actor
Award Status Winner
Award Year 1998
Award Giver Academy Awards
Name Nicola Piovani
Award Category Best Original Score
Award Status Winner
Award Year 1998
Award Giver Academy Awards
Product Attributes
Actor Benigni,Roberto
Music Format DVD

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