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Life is Beautiful
(1998)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Arranged, and Produced by:
Nicola Piovani

Performed by:
Orchestra Dell'Academica Musicale Italiana
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Virgin Records America
(October 20th, 1998)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
Winner of an Academy Award and nominated for a Grammy Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate the lightweight and carefree attitude of Italy's fairly standard romantic comedy sound and want to introduce a Nicola Piovani entry into your American-centered collection.

Avoid it... if you expect the score to meet the hype generated by its Oscar win, for while it's easy to appreciate and enjoy in parts, it's more likely to underwhelm you with its restrained depth, stereotypical rhythms, and marginalized drama.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #74
WRITTEN 2/18/99, REVISED 3/28/08
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Piovani
Piovani
Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella): (Nicola Piovani) In the process of becoming the most nominated foreign language film in the history of the Oscars (at the time), Life is Beautiful introduced popular Italian comedian Roberto Benigni to international mainstream cinema. The concept of the film would be bizarre to the point of being offensive if not for Benigni's keen ability to actually make it work. After a first half of the film in which the director/writer/actor cleverly woos a woman using his lovable wit and charm, their family is sent to concentration camps in the final days of World War II. To shield his young son, Benigni creates a fantasy world in which the boy can consider the concentration camp to be a vacation and a game being played by adults. The concept seems horrific, and in an effectively tragic way, the film uses this awkward premise to a tear jerking conclusion, but ironically its weaker half is the standard romantic comedy at the start. The score for Life is Beautiful presented the challenge of both matching the upbeat enthusiasm of Benigni's infectious humor while also being suitable for the film's second half. Composer Nicola Piovani was up to the task, producing a score rich with Mediterranean sensibilities that managed to extend its appeal beyond the usual Southern European market for the plethora of similar music for Italian cinema. Piovani had already been active in that industry for two decades, writing music that was sometimes mistakenly assumed to be that of Ennio Morricone (under a pseudonym). Until Life is Beautiful, however, he was little known in America, and there was speculation after the score won the Oscar for 1998 that he could launch a successful international career. That win, however, sat about as well with film music collectors and some industry insiders as Luis Bacalov's Oscar for Il Postino in 1995. Both small-scale, arthouse Italian scores beat far superior competition in their respective years, most notably stealing gold statues from James Horner and John Williams. Not surprisingly, significant resentment towards Piovani and Benigni lingers, especially for enthusiasts of Saving Private Ryan.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
2,483 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.3 Stars
***** 574 5 Stars
**** 590 4 Stars
*** 634 3 Stars
** 379 2 Stars
* 306 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
6 TOTAL COMMENTS
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
HEART WRENCHING!
Aaron Jago - May 10, 2011, at 5:15 p.m.
1 comment  (988 views)
amazing
tim - January 30, 2009, at 5:23 a.m.
1 comment  (1617 views)
Benigni - an Italian Charlie Chaplin
Lou DePietro - January 10, 2009, at 7:32 p.m.
1 comment  (1572 views)
Usage of German in the film
Sean - December 7, 2006, at 4:06 a.m.
1 comment  (2123 views)
Great Movie
Patricia Quintero - November 28, 2006, at 2:57 p.m.
1 comment  (2238 views)
Beautiful
Janelle Silva - July 21, 2006, at 5:13 p.m.
1 comment  (2323 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 41:17
• 1. Buon Giorno Principessa (Good Morning Princess) (3:29)
• 2. La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful) (2:46)
• 3. Viva Giosue (Hurrah for Giosue) (1:19)
• 4. Grand Hotel Valse (1:57)
• 5. La Notte di Favola (Fabulous Night) (2:32)
• 6. La Notte di Fuga (Running in the Night) (3:49)
• 7. Le Uova Nel Capello (Eggs in the Hat) (1:07)
• 8. Grand Hotel Fox (1:55)
• 9. Il Treno Nel Buio (Train in the Darkness) (2:19)
• 10. Arriva il Carro Armato (The Tank is Coming) (1:04)
• 11. Valse Larmoyante (2:03)
• 12. L'Uovo di Struzzo - Danza Etiope (Ostrich Egg - Ethiopian Dance) (1:53)
• 13. Krautentang (2:46)
• 14. Il Gioco di Giosue (Giosue's Game) (1:45)
• 15. Barcarolle* (3:54)
• 16. Guido e Ferruccio (Guido and Ferrucio) (2:26)
• 17. Abbiamo Vinto (We Won) (3:03)
* excerpt from Jacques Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann,"
    performed by Monserrat Caballe and Shirley Verret

English translations in parentheses added to track listings

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains a short note from director/writer/actor Roberto Benigni in Italian.
Copyright © 1999-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Life is Beautiful are Copyright © 1998, Virgin Records America and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/18/99 and last updated 3/28/08.
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