April 19, 2004

La Vita Ë bella

La Vita Ë bella or Life is Beautiful is a wonderful movie. I saw it on sunday which happened to be Holocaust Remembrance Day so it was fitting. The story is about... a boy. He's really a man, a goofy, amazing one named Guido Orefice but he's a boy at heart. Not that he's young and irresponsible but he loves life and he's fun, knows how to make the most out of a situation. He really knows how to make the most out a situation. Watching it made me really happy.

The movie is also about another boy, Guido and Dora's kid GiosuÈ. He's 4 during the movie and doesn't know about Nazis, prison camps, racism all he knows is his father and what he tells him.

So Guido tells his son the whole camp is part of a game to win a tank. They'll need 1000 points to win and they need to do stupid stuff to get points. And since everyone wants to win everyone will try to trick him into thinking its not a game. And for the most part Guido's deception works and his son is saved the horrors of the concentration camp.

This movie made me cry at the end. I'm not one to cry from a movie. It's also worth noting that Roberto Benigni (Guido) is one of two of the the only actors to have directed themselves in Oscar winning performances and that he is the first actor to win a Best Actor Oscar for a non-English speaking role.

The Soundtrack is available at Amazon.com and is "sweet and melodic".


(Read on for some screen shots of the movie. Warning - I don't have any obvious spoilers but I tell a little bit of the story.)

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This is the second time Guido meets his "princess" Dora.

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Dora is to be married but Guido has stolen her heart. This is at her pre-wedding party under the main table.

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Guido decides to rescue Dora from her wedding arrangements with his uncle's jewish horse.

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Guido takes Dora home.

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Four years later Guido and Dora have a son named GiosuÈ.

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Unfortunately the Nazis start rounding up jews around this time and take Guido and GiosuÈ. Dora who's not jewish volunteers to join them.

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Guido and GiosuÈ find themselves in a barracks in a concentration camp.

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Guido tells GiosuÈ that the whole camp is a game and "translates" the instructions from the german guard into italian he wants his son to hear.

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Unfortunately the work is harder then Guido could have imagined. He now needs to survive and protect his son, hoping to one day reunite his family free of Nazi rule.

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