Best Movies by Farr

Life Is Beautiful

Watch it on:

What's it About

After moving to Arezzo from the Tuscan countryside in 1939, loony romantic Guido (Benigni) meets, courts, and weds beautiful schoolteacher Dora (Braschi), just as a noxious wave of anti-Semitism is arising around them. Five years later, with their young son Giosue (Cantarini), the Jewish family is loaded onto a train bound for a concentration camp, but Guido goes to great lengths to shelter Giosue from this harsh reality. 

Why we love it

Dismissed by some for turning the Holocaust into tasteless humor, Benigni's Oscar-winning comedy is actually a tragic, poignant story carefully swathed in a flurry of wacky gags and witty hilarity, courtesy of the talented star/director. "Life" begins as a delightfully frenetic love fable in which goofy waiter Guido charms and wins over Braschi's Dora, then turns into a spirited look at Guido's efforts to shield his son with the gift of humor and fantasy. A manic, heartfelt performance for which Benigni won a Best Actor Oscar. Though it tackles a tough subject with surprising exuberance, "Life" never feels cheap.

Up Next

Life Is Sweet

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"