|Michael A. Maynez|
“Life Is Beautiful”
The triple threat and treat of Roberto Benigni, beautiful movie, “Life Is Beautiful”, which he wrote, directed and acted in, makes for a fantastic coup de awards, which he richly deserves. It might be the only movie that could be nominated as the Best Foreign Film, plus nominated for the Best Picture by the Academy Awards. The subject matter dangles from a precipice, as the Holocaust is not a subject that lends itself to any humor.
That Benigni has placed all the fundamental elements in gear to create this tragic-comedy is all the more to his credit. He has artfully handled and subtlety injected the script with the Nazi horrors. They start showing in small doses until, it is too late to turn back the clock. The poignant period of protecting his son from the evils of the world is so delicately fraught with land mines all over the countryside, but especially in the concentration camp, where as Italian Jew he is send with his small son. His wife Nicoletta Braschi, ( Beenigni’s actual wife in real life), decides to go with them. They are soon involved in the most treacherous journey of their lives, particularly in trying to keep his son from learning the truth of the Holocaust. He devises, a game so elaborate in concept, that it may be the big weakness in this tale.
Like “Schindler’s List”, it leaves many questions unanswered, because of the emotional involvement. It has won so many awards, that it will be interesting how it fares here, among the awards are nine Donatellos, the Italian counterpart of the American Academy Awards. The movie may be an affirmation of life, but it will leave you highly disturb at men inhumanity to men.
Life Is Beautiful
Sergio Bini Bustric
Directed by Roberto Benigni
Produced by Elda Ferri, Gianluigi Braschi
Screenplay by Vincenzo Cerami, Roberto Benigni
MPAA Rated PG-13