Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.
In 1930s Italy, a carefree Jewish book keeper named Guido starts a fairy tale life by courting and marrying a lovely woman from a nearby city. Guido and his wife have a son and live happily together until the occupation of Italy by German forces. In an attempt to hold his family together and help his son survive the horrors of a Jewish Concentration Camp, Guido imagines that the Holocaust is a game and that the grand prize for winning is a tank. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
The screenplay by Roberto Benigni and Vincenzo Cerami was published in Italy in 1998. The published version featured a few more scenes that were not in the final movie, most notably a scene in which Guido inadvertently witnesses a mass execution of Partisans, spotting his friend Ferruccio among them. See more »
When Dora looks out her barrack to listen to the opera piece, her long hair can be seen under her scarf. In concentration camps, women's heads were regularly shaved to prevent the proliferation of lice. See more »
[narrating as an adult]
This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell.
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Life Is Beautiful takes the premise that love and hope can survive the most trying of conditions, in this case a Nazi concentration camp. Most everyone knows this very popular and honored film, so I won't belabor the story. Briefly, in my humble opinion, this film deserves all the accolades it's been awarded. A near perfect film, my only gripe is that Mr. Benigni's performance could have been more understated, especially the half of the film that's set in the concentration camp. But this is only a slight complaint. For a joyful, life-affirming movie, Life Is Beautiful is tops. But be forewarned, as its principal backdrop of anti-Semitism and Nazi murder, it is not a very happy movie.
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