Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful (Italian: La vita è bella, Italian pronunciation: [la ˈviːta ˈɛ bˈbɛlla]) is a 1997 Italian comedy drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote the film with Vincenzo Cerami. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian bookshop owner, who employs his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. The film was partially inspired by the book In the End, I Beat Hitler by Rubino Romeo Salmonì and by Benigni's father, who spent two years in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during World War II.

Life Is Beautiful
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoberto Benigni
Written byRoberto Benigni
Vincenzo Cerami
Produced byGianluigi Braschi
Elda Ferri
CinematographyTonino Delli Colli
Edited bySimona Paggi
Music byNicola Piovani
Melampo Cinematografica
Distributed byCecchi Gori Group (Italy)
Release date
  • 20 December 1997 (1997-12-20) (Italy)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$230.1 million[3]

The film was an overwhelming critical and commercial success. It received widespread acclaim, with critics praising its story, performances, direction and the union of drama and comedy, despite some criticisms of using the subject matter for comedic purposes. The movie grossed over $230 million worldwide, including $57.6 million in the United States, is the second highest-grossing foreign language film in the U.S. (after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)[4] and one of the highest-grossing non-English language movies of all time.[5] The National Board of Review included it in the top five best foreign films of 1998.[6]

The movie won the Grand Prix at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, nine David di Donatello Awards (including Best Film), five Nastro d'Argento Awards in Italy, two European Film Awards, and three Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor for Benigni, the first for a male non-English performance.[7]

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