It's a fabulous movie. I'd only seen the first half of it before today, and, as expected, the second half differed incredibly. Yet, in the happy parts of the film was an element of the ugliness, and in the ugly parts of life, happiness and beauty were able to shine through. The writting and the acting was incredible. You truly feel, at the end of this film, despite the obvious horror of what went on during the Holocaust, that life is beautiful. Roberto Benini deserved his Oscar, and for the writing and directing, he should have gotten two more. I also like the fact that if it wasn't spoken in Italian, it wasn't translated. The only reason we understood the American soldier at the end of the movie was that we happened to speak English. The German guards are also untranslated. It draws you in closer to what the main characters must have been feeling, and was a wise move, in my opinion.
I'm very glad we watched this film in creative writing. At the end, when all the lights came on, everyone in that room showed that they were moved by the film. My friend Rob said, "That was a great movie, and I never would have seen it if I hadn't had this class." I was really glad at least one person, and probably more of them, were opened to a new experience, if not foreign film in general. The reason the class almost didn't watch it was because it had subtitles. I can't possibly imagine watching "The Never-Ending Story" over this.
Life is Beautiful had the strength of character as a film to make you both laugh and cry, and yet, stay true to itself. I am a harsh movie critic, and I was thouroughly impressed. See this film. Please.