Life is Beautiful is amazing, it is totally understandable its nomination for the Oscar for best foreign film, a film the way the academy likes: the struggle of a person so that, with overcoming problems, there is an exciting ending that makes people think. But A Life is Beautiful has a feature that Benigni usually inserts in his films: the comedy that is constantly present during the scenes. In other words, a subject as controversial as war is treated in a very delicate way so as not to offend anyone, only that they still contain various criticisms in an ironic and amusing way, always with seriousness in the background, watch now the movie and you'll see why is so famous.
The film can be divided into two very well defined parts: Guido's struggle (also played by director Benigni) to win his love Dora (played by Braschi, Benigni's wife in real life) in the first part and the struggle for the survival of his family during World War II in the second half of the film.
The first part is all too cute, those love stories that anyone would like to live. Guido is the typical immigrant, dreamer and committed to his decisions, coming from the countryside to the city. In an unconventional way, he also meets the aforementioned Dora, in which he begins to fall in love after several casual encounters between the two, always with flirtatious exchanges. Always getting into very embarrassing situations, and coming out of them even more brilliantly, Guido manages to attract the sympathy of everyone who is watching, even with jokes already quite worn (which we usually even see in Chaves).
Only this is not a bad point, as it is a very nice story to follow and that could be told completely apart from the second half of the film. Everything here takes place in Italy, it has a photograph with strong and vivid colors, even at night. It gives details of life and where he lives, further deepening the character's presentation. But we only know that Guido is a Jew at the end of that first part, something that further accentuated the romance between him and the Italian Dora, since he was a foreigner. This first part takes place in the year 1939, before the war broke out and the Jews were hunted down by German Hitler's troops.
In the second half the drama is much more intense, receiving the ironic treatment that we mentioned earlier. Still located in Italy and for the duration of the Second World War, Benigni and his son Giosué (played by newcomer Giorgio Cantarini) are taken to the Nazi concentration camp. Guido tries, in every way possible, to protect his son from everything that is going on around him. He makes up a story, a fantasy, so that his son believes that everything that is happening is just a game, protecting him from all the evil that surrounds a war, and it is around this that the second part develops. Everything is a fantasy, all scenes have two meanings: the real and the invented by Guido.
The technical part of this point is much more neat, as the theme proposes. Darker, pessimistic photography, pain and suffering all the time cited by the actors' facial expressions, but even so Guido continues with his fantasy and touch of humor, despite the situation, it's amazing, watch online the movie now. The art direction is to be congratulated, all the uniforms are very convincing, everything is very beautiful, of course with its dose of beauty. The fog scene is fantastic, and some camera shots, despite not innovating, fell perfectly into the context and evolution of the film.
Life is Beautiful is a film that really deserves to be watched. It starts out too slow, cute, but the conflicts presented in the second part of the film are very well worked with the personalities presented in the first. Roberto Benigni nailed it, and now it's easy to understand why he was hurt after the Oscar: we thought we had been robbed, when in fact someone managed to do something better than our Central do Brasil. But the image of the party that Benigni had when he received the award ... This will be more difficult to swallow.