Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella)

Any time is a good time to watch Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella) a 1997 Italian movie directed by Roberto Benigni. Set in Italy at the onset of WWII, Guido (the director himself) is an Italian Jew who arrives at the historic city of Arezzo to work at his uncle’s hotel. Guido has the power to squeeze laughs out of the most serious situations of life. It is this humour which wins him over a beautiful wife (played by his actual wife) and soon they have a son. His charm is put to its hardest test when his family is arrested and taken to a Nazi concentration camp. Pulling every possible trick out of his hat, Guido convinces his son that they are playing a grand game at the concentration camp and with his wit manages to save him from death. Tragedy follows when USA advances into Germany and the Nazis decide to kill all the prisoners and escape.

Life is Beautiful presents a most sunny take on the darkest facet of WWII. The movie is funny, all through Guido’s romance and family life to his travails at the Nazi concentration camp. The European settings are splendid, the grand old buildings and alleys of Arezzo are a must-watch, the acting is excellent and it is hard to pick a flaw in the movie. The ending is bittersweet and it left me wishing it was a completely happy climax. Life is Beautiful is an awesome family movie on the power humans have to foster happiness in the most trying of times.

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