4 comments on “Life is Beautiful

  1. I liked this when I saw it (I was already a big fan of both leads from Jim Jarmusch’s films), but I liked it less when it ended up being nominated for so many Oscars and Benigni won best actor after (shall we say) an overly aggressive campaign. In my mind, that was the award that should have gone to Nick Nolte for Affliction (not a great film, but a great performance), though a case could also be made for Ian McKellan (Gods and Monsters) or Edward Norton (American History X).

    It was the same with The King’s Speech this year. When I feel a movie is over-praised, I get turned off, even if it’s a perfectly good movie. That’s probably the case here as well.

  2. At the risk of being accused of not having a sense of humor, I found this subject matter and the film itself to be in poor taste. I would even say that I was offended by it…and I’m not even Jewish. But I was horrified as I watched it and Benigni’s carryings-on (both on and off screen) really turned me off. I’ve tried watching it again and it still hit me as inappropriate. Just not a fan at all.
    Was parfticularly upset with the Best Actor Oscar with all Benigni’s silliness dancing on the theater seats…Edward Norton should have won that year for AMERICAN HISTORY X. That was a great film!

  3. Ken, it is interesting when that happens. I had pretty much the same reaction to Inglourious Basterds. It’s an amazing film (far better than Life Is Beautiful), the best Tarantino has ever made, but I can’t get past the fact that I find it morally repugnant. I was just watching it again and it particularly offended me that he used a visual quote from The Searchers. Ford’s visuals weren’t just a style to adopt; he had a message, and it was the opposite of the message in Inglourious Basterds.

    Usually we can say, “Hey, it’s just a movie,” but sometimes there are movies that we just can’t give that leeway to.

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