PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance
When an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp.
Roberto Benigni became only the fourth person to be nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay in the same year. The other recipients of this accolade are Orson Welles for Citizen Kane (1941), Woody Allen for Annie Hall (1977) and Warren Beatty for both Heaven Can Wait (1978) & Reds (1981), though "Heaven Can Wait" was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, not Best Original Screenplay like the others.
This is a simple story... but not an easy one to tell.
When Dora looks out her barrack to listen to the opera piece, her long hair can be seen under her scarf. In concentration camps, women's heads were regularly shaved to prevent the proliferation of lice.
The original Italian theatrical version was 122 minutes long. Benigni later cut 9 minutes out for the American version (removing, among others, all scenes featuring Lidia Alfonsi) and adding a voice over by the adult Giosuè (voiced by Omero Antonutti). This shorter version is the one released on video in Italy.
Italian, German, English
£87,818 (UK) (14 February 1999)
$57,598,247 (USA) (3 October 1999)