fatpie42’s review published on Letterboxd:
In spite of the sweetness and comedy in this film it manages to be a much more moving and respectful movie about the horrors of the holocaust than the half-hearted and shallow "In Darkness" that was released a couple of years ago.
Movies are often not realistic and intentionally so. When Indiana Jones fights Nazis no one is too worried about how realistically they are being depicted, nor how difficult it would be to attack the Nazis in the way Indiana does and get away with it. The same is true here about the protagonist and Fascism in Italy.
The film "Life Is Beautiful" is a victory against Fascism in that the unbelievable hero is able to ridicule Fascism in farcical and hilarious ways that would not have been possible at the time. Then later that same hero is then able to keep up hope in a concentration camp, when victims in real life would have no hope left. The style of the movie makes it clear that this is all fiction, but that doesn't mean we can't cheer anyway. Whether it's Indiana Jones punching a Nazi or the protagonist in "Life Is Beautiful" humourously mistranslating Nazi guards in a concentration camp, we don't need to believe it's realistic in order to have a great time.
"Life Is Beautiful" is hilarious and moving (so everything you'd want from a good Pixar movie I guess, only in live action). It is a unique experience and I think it needs to be seen to be believed. Be honest, you're curious right?
My full review is here: