Life Is Beautiful

"Life Is Beautiful is the role Roberto Benigni was born to play. The film falls into two parts. One is pure comedy. The other smiles through tears. Benigni, who also directed and co-wrote the movie, stars as Guido, a hotel waiter in Italy in the 1930s.

“He arrives in town in a runaway car with failed brakes and is mistaken for a visiting dignitary. He falls in love instantly with the beautiful Dora (Nicoletta Braschi).

“Several years pass, offscreen. Guido and Dora are married and dote on their 5-year-old son Joshua (Giorgio Cantarini). In 1945, near the end of the war, the Jews in the town are rounded up by the Fascists and shipped by rail to a death camp. Guido and Joshua are loaded into a train, and Guido instinctively tries to turn it into a game to comfort his son. Dora, not Jewish, would be spared by the Fascists, but insists on coming along to be with her husband and child.

"Life Is Beautiful is not about Nazis and Fascists, but about the human spirit. It is about rescuing whatever is good and hopeful from the wreckage of dreams.” - Roger Ebert

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