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Life Is Beautiful [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Special Edition, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Disney Educational
  • Release Date: March 31 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (568 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00246VKFM

Product Description

Product Description

Life is Beautiful Classroom Edition [Interactive DVD]

Amazon.ca

Italy's rubber-faced funnyman Roberto Benigni accomplishes the impossible in his World War II comedy Life Is Beautiful: he shapes a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust. An international sensation and the most successful foreign language film in U.S. history, the picture also earned director-cowriter-star Benigni Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor. He plays the Jewish country boy Guido, a madcap romantic in Mussolini's Italy who wins the heart of his sweetheart (Benigni's real-life sweetie, Nicoletta Braschi) and raises a darling son (the adorable Giorgio Cantarini) in the shadow of fascism. When the Nazis ship the men off to a concentration camp in the waning days of the war, Guido is determined to shelter his son from the evils around them and convinces him they're in an elaborate contest to win (of all things) a tank. Guido tirelessly maintains the ruse with comic ingenuity, even as the horrors escalate and the camp's population continues to dwindle--all the more impetus to keep his son safe, secure, and, most of all, hidden. Benigni walks a fine line mining comedy from tragedy and his efforts are pure fantasy--he accomplishes feats no man could realistically pull off--both of which have drawn fire from a few critics. Yet for all its wacky humor and inventive gags, Life Is Beautiful is a moving and poignant tale of one father's sacrifice to save not just his young son's life but his innocence in the face of one of the most evil acts ever perpetrated by the human race. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By peppermint on July 2 2004
Format: DVD
When I watched Life Is Beautiful I wasn't at all impressed - at 1st I wasn't. Not until the scene where Guido is forced to pretend to be a fascist leader indoctrinating children at the school (where the woman he loves is teacher). My stomach turned in this scene. And the whole meaning of the movie came to me like an avalanche. Guido's pretending symbolized many things. That when people are put in inhumane situations they will be forced to find ways to "work around" the situation in order to survive (for instance...I'm sure that the slaves that built the pyramids laughed & joked about their inhumane situation & about the ones in power in order to make life bearable...forced to be a slave but also forced to find a way to make life more humane when a humane life simply should be a given). Though he thought he was being clever in speaking in the way he thought the leader of the fascist movement would speak he unwittingly hit the nail on the head - Guido used the same words the real fascist leader would use but from a different point-of-view. Though Guido was innocent of the far-reaching implications of fascism he knew, on some level, what the policies were (enough to be able to pretend to be the leader that was suppose to be there instead). His playful speech is in actuality the same speech the leader would make but from different angles: Guido's own angle is one of joking disbelief regarding the philosophies of facism; the fascist leader (when he arrives) would say exactly the same words but said in total & unwavering belief in the fascist's philosophy. If you can imagine the real fascist leader in that classroom making that speech instead of Guido you'll see what I see.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trial Critic on June 27 2004
Format: DVD
Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" is an outstanding movie. The movie combines comedy, romance and the Holocaust which could have backfired easily, but he pulls it off superbly. It won the hearts of people across the world. The story is one of an Italian Jewish waiter who bumps into an Italian woman and wins her heart. The movie can almost be broken into two parts, the first part full of mirth and the second part dark and depressing. A lot of people who have the DVDs refuse to see the second part (with good reason).
I asked a number of holocaust survivors how they felt about the movie. Most of the them found it beautiful, they realize that it is unrealistic but the fantasy in it moved them. Of course, there were some people who did not accept it as the scars in them were too deep. But such things are to be expected. However, if one watches the DVD extras and sees the effect in the Simon Wiesenthal center, one sees that this movie has an overall positive impact among a lot of the Holocaust survivors. As far as Steven Spielberg not liking it, well, he may be a gifted director, but he is not the sole authority on the Holocaust just because he has made one movie on it. His movie is ripped off from one of the most gifted writers, Thomas Keneally. When he comes up with a story with imagination, he can talk. I have read numerous books on the Holocaust and talked to survivors and understand that this is not reality. But, it still makes you appreciate the story without undermining the Holocaust in anyway whatsoever. That is the magic of the movie.
There are a number of special scenes in this movie. Particular among them are how he shields his son, Joshua from the Nazis Nuremberg laws - "We will not allow spiders and visigoths into our shop from tomorrow".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Chandler on Nov. 30 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Alliance in particular and Canadian special Blu-ray releases in general have a poor reputation but this is a welcome exception. The English subtitles do not appear when German is spoken but otherwise are excellent. If you choose the dubbed English audio, (which is surprisingly good with entertaining Italian accented English), then the subtitles do not fit too well as they have obviously been done from the Italian original. These are minor points however. Considering the age the transfer is quite strong and a big improvement on the DVD. The featurette is not really about this film but about Roberto Benigni. It is SD 4x3 and one viewing will be enough. The cover is reversable English / French, I presume Canadian French but could not say for sure. This is an excellent value disc. The price is cheap and Canadian post is brilliant. I got my disc in Australia in 5 days! Do not hesitate, strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trial Critic on June 28 2004
Format: DVD
Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" was probably the best movie of the year. This was a very unusual movie that I was not prepared for due to the content - a comedy based on the Holocaust. It had disaster written all over it, however when I went and watched it, I was stunned. The movie was about a Jewish waiter who woos a woman who is to marry another person. The movie can be broken into two parts, the first part which is humorous and romantic, the second part which is sad and dark. Here, he tries to protect his son from the horrors of the concentration camp. While the movie is obviously unrealistic, it has been beautifully put together.
I asked a number of my friends who have been through the Holocaust what they felt about the movie. Most of them loved the movie though they said that it was extremely unrealistic. Some of them could not stomach it, their scars were too deep. However, that is to be expected. I have read a number of books on the Holocaust and read the reaction to this movie from the Jerusalem Film Festival and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, most of it was overwhelmingly positive. I saw that Steven Spielberg did not like the movie, well he may be a gifted directed, but making one movie on the Holocaust does not make him an authority on the subject. His movie was ripped off from one of the most gifted authors of our times - Thomas Keneally. If you read the book, the movie will pale in comparison. This movie on the other hand, has creativity and fantasy that the ordinary movie.
One important thing about this movie is the way he mocks the fascists. In an opening sequence, he finds himself in a runaway car and sticks out an arm to protect himself -- only to confuse himself with the saluting Fascists who are also in town.
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