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La Vita Ť Bella (Life is Beautiful)
(Life is Beautiful)

Virgin Records Italy (0724384909024)
Movie | Released: 2000 | Format: CD

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# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.Beautiful That WayNOA3:26
2.Buon Giorno Principessa3:29
3.La Vita E Bella2:46
4.Viva Giosue1:19
5.Grand Hotel Valse1:57
6.La Notte Di Favola2:32
7.La Notte Di Fuga3:49
8.Le Uova Nel Capello1:07
9.Grand Hotel Fox1:55
10.Il Treno Nel Buio2:19
11.Arriva Il Carro Armato1:04
12.Valse Larmoyante2:03
13.L'Uovo Di Struzzo-Danza Etiope1:53
15.Il Gioco Di Giosue1:45
17.Guido E Ferruccio2:26
18.Abbiamo Vinto3:03
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La Vita Ť Bella - 08/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
Nicola Piovani isn't the first person who springs to mind when thinking of Oscar winners, but here we have it, his Oscar winning score to Roberto Benigni's superb film which confronts the horrors of the holocaust with great subtlety, but with touching and often highly amusing slapstick routines. The film is in two halves, with the first being quite a lightweight comedy, albeit one that is immensely amusing and wonderfully romantic. The second half is still amusing, but takes place in a concentration camp where Benigni's character tries to hide the horrors of the gas chambers and prison labour from his son by pretending that the entire thing is a game to win a tank. For some reason, this idea of humour in the face of such horrors is controversial, but I found it to be wonderfully humane. Most of the music (at least the most notable music) is contained in the first half of the film and consists of lightly comic music, which never overplays it's comedy hand and always remains sunny and jolly. The main dance-like theme is introduced in track 2, La Vita E Bella and appears several times in various guises, including a mock-Arabian version in track 12 and a march version in track 10. While essentially, monothematic, the main theme doesn't appear too many times and even if it did, it's so endearing that you'd be hard pressed to be annoyed when it appeared!

Each track seems to stand alone perfectly as a piece of music, which is rare, especially for a film where most of the music accompanies broadly comedic situations. There are a couple of dances including the mock-sumptuous Grand Hotel Valse (that has an orchestra far too small to make it completely 'Grand!'). Grand Hotel Fox is a very entertaining dance tune, although I can't put my finger on exactly what kind of dance it is meant to be! The more dramatic parts of the score are never overwrought or melodramatic. Barcarolle (from Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach and performed by Monserrat Caballe & Shirly Verret) fits in quite nicely with the more subdued latter half and avoids sticking out for any reason (and is quite important to the story). The final cue, Abbiamo Vinto provides a suitably upbeat ending and a welcome reprise of the main theme.

While perhaps not the dramatic tour de force that I feel it should be to win best dramatic score (perhaps it would have been a much better winner if in the comedy/musical category), it is certainly a highly entertaining score with an honest charm that many scores these days lack and certainly makes a refreshing change of style from the usual crummy comedy scores or weighty serious scores that come out of Hollywood, then again it's from Italy, which explains a lot. Buon Giorno Principessa!
Oscars: Best Original Score (Winner)

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