Buon giorno, Principessa!

by chuckofish

The game starts now. You have to score one thousand points. If you do that, you take home a tank with a big gun. Each day we will announce the scores from that loudspeaker. The one who has the fewest points will have to wear a sign that says “Jackass” on his back. There are three ways to lose points. One, turning into a big crybaby. Two, telling us you want to see your mommy. Three, saying you’re hungry and want a snack.

My movie pick for this week is Life is Beautiful (1997)–written, directed and starring Roberto Benigni.


“La Vita e Bella” is a wonderful movie about the power of love to overcome evil. It is one of my all-time favorite movies. I took my two older children to see it because I thought it illustrated, better than any other movie, the absurdity of the Holocaust and the dementia of the Nazis. The story is like a dream or a fairy tale and those critics who said it “trivialized” the Holocaust are crazy. I loved the central characters, the Italian family of Guido, Dora and Joshua. Their story is a personal tragedy which illustrates vividly the larger one. The lengths to which Guido goes to shield and protect his son are amazing, but relatable. His gentile wife, who chooses to go to a camp because that is where her husband and son are, rather than stay “safe” at home, I can identify with. I cried and cried at the end of this film, while Sophie’s Choice left me cold and hating the characters.

You will laugh until you cry and then you will cry for real. Great, great movie.

Here’s a bit of movie trivia for you: The wonderful actor who played the little boy (Giorgio Cantarini) has only appeared in two motion pictures. In both of these movies the actor playing his father won an Academy Award for best actor in a leading role. Can you name the other actor besides Roberto Benigni?

P.S. I always wanted my husband to call me Principessa.