La vita è bella!

My friends and I held another cooking party this past Saturday, this time with a twist: each person chose a movie that related to their dish. We then scrambled the titles in Ellen’s hat and made a random selection. My movie choice, Life is Beautiful, won the draw. (Reviewed below; spoiler alert.) I made linguine bolognese so I decided an Italian film was the appropriate choice, mostly because it would be my first time watching Italian cinema.

Cooking in progress.

Feon’s dish #1: Sliced cucumbers in soysauce, topped with fried garlic.

Feon’s dish #2: Cold tofu with soysauce, cilantro and spring onions on the side. (Forgot what was on top.. Bonito flakes?)

Vincent James embraced his Mexican side and made beef tacos with authentic Taco Bell sauce.

Ellen made the BEST hoddeok from scratch.

Kat’s cola chicken wings. We joked that she should have chosen Prometheus or Alien as her movie… heh heh. Sorry, Kat.

My linguine bolognese. I shoulda added more cheese.

This dinner was definitely an upgrade from the last one, solely based on ambition as most of us followed recipes/cooked for the very first time. IT WAS GREAT.

La Vita è Bella.


I had no idea the movie came out in 1998; I thought it was from the 60s or something. I think the coloring threw me off. This is irrelevant to my review.


Am I allowed to say that this was the most positive Holocaust movie I’ve ever seen? I really enjoyed the backstory of how Guido Orefice met his wife, as it truly showed his optimistic, ingenious, and impeccably timed go-with-the-flow outlook on life. It also made it less about the Holocaust itself but about a particular man’s unique way of seeing things. (Guido’s genius is further acknowledged by his ability to answer puzzling riddles within seconds.)


The family’s happy life was cut short once they were sent to the concentration camp. This is where Guido’s improv skills were put to the test as he made it his sole duty to shield his young son from the truth with a series of white lies and slick cover-ups, cleverly pulling it off until the very end.

This scene… right in the feels. ;^; (source)

Unfortunately, Guido’s last act of bravery (his attempt to find his wife) cost him his life. Out of all the stunts he had pulled, this seemed to be his one and only slip up. Amazingly, he was able to save his son’s life with a never-ending game of hide-and-seek. Mother and son (and tank) were reunited.


I’m not a huge fan of immense tragedies so I liked that the film focused less on the Holocaust and more on Guido’s undying love for his family. The film even began like a comedy and had a light-hearted tone throughout, thanks to Guido’s playful antics. Of course, there were moments of intensity and suspense, as this is a movie about war and genocide, too.


One response to “La vita è bella!

  1. Now it’s definitely time for you to watch the Bicycle Thieves! Besides being another sad Italian movies, it also features a strong father-son relationship.

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