Thomas’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Life is Beautiful” almost feels like two different movies. The first half is a charming and endearing romantic comedy and the second half is a tragic Holocaust drama. Still, even during the second half, the film is much more lighthearted than similar movies. Some people won´t like this more comedic approach to the heavy subject matter, but for me, this approach is justifiable. The film demonstrates how humanity´s best qualities such as humor, compassion, imagination, love, and family can be a bright light even during the darkest times, which is a very powerful message. And especially the very impactful ending should clearly show that the director takes the topic seriously.
“Life is Beautiful” is the Roberto Benigni show. His Guido is an extremely charismatic, energetic, and lovable character. Ok, sometimes he is a bit too hyperactive and silly for my taste, but nevertheless, he quickly grew close to my heart. His love story with Dora is cute and beautiful but the highlight of the film is without a doubt the touching father/son relationship. The little Giosué is a real scene stealer and his interactions with his father are so real and heartfelt that I teared up a few times.
Just like the human species is full of contradictions, “Life is Beautiful” is a film of contradicting emotions. It is extremely hilarious and incredibly sad, heartwarming and heart-wrenching, uplifting and devastating. All in all, a fascinating movie that everyone should see.