Three Italian Films

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I am putting together an Italian Day which you can enjoy in London, and wanted to choose one Italian film to enjoy as part of it.  But it’s been incredibly hard to narrow my selection down!

Just as I couldn’t recommend just one favourite film (oh yes I can, it’s called Everything To Dance For and it’s the best film ever made! sorry) it’s so hard to recommend just one film from a country that is so passionate about cinema.

I was torn between Cinema Paradiso and La Dolce Vita, until I remembered Life is Beautiful!

Cinema Paradiso (PG) is an intensely atmospheric film about a young boy growing up in a small Italian village, where life revolves around the local cinema.

La Dolce Vita (15) is also a wonderfully evocative Italian movie, set in Rome, about the craziness of the beautiful people and is incredibly famous for the scene of Anita Ekberg in the fountain.

Life is Beautiful (PG-13) is one of the best films I have ever seen.  If I tell you that it is a comedy set in an Italian concentration camp it sounds completely crazy - and certainly that’s what people thought when Roberto Benigni (the lead actor, director, producer, writer, floor sweeper) accepted his Best Actor Oscar, jumping up and down!  Come on, he’s Italian!  Yes it will make you laugh, cry and I have to include it.

It’s at times like these that you realise why Hollywood has so many sub-categories, so...

Cinema Paradiso - best film about growing up in rural Italy (and cinema)

La Dolce Vita - best film about living the wild life in Rome (and paparazzi)

Life Is Beautiful - best film about life (and the Holocaust) - but be warned - you may not be able to watch another film for days it’s so incredible.

But if there has to be a winner then, for curling up on the sofa with your loved ones after a day out, it has to be Cinema Paradiso.  (Save La Dolce Vita for when you wish you were in Rome, and Life is Beautiful for when you need a good laugh and a good cry... brings a whole new meaning to princess.)