In 1939, Jewish-Italian Guido Orefice comes into Arezzo, Italy, ultimately to open a book store. In the meantime, he will work as a waiter at the hotel restaurant where his Uncle Eliseo is the maître d'. In town, he meets a school teacher named Dora, who he calls Princess and who comes from a wealthy Italian family. For him, it's love at first sight. Despite she already being in a relationship with another man, Guido ultimately sweeps her off her feet. They get married and have a son they name Giosué. On Giosué's fifth birthday, World War II is in full force. Since they are Jewish, the Germans take away Guido, Eliseo and Giosué to a labor camp. Wanting to be with her family, Dora insists she be taken too, but she is housed in the women's side of the camp. To protect Giosué from the horror of what is happening to them, Guido tells him that they are playing a game, certain actions which garner points, other actions which take points away or disqualify one from the game. The first to reach 1,000 points wins the prize of a real tank. Guido's primary goal is to keep Giosué safe at all cost, while he tries to figure out a way to get his family out of the camp and keep the Germans at bay from learning what he is doing with Giosué.
Oscar Actor in a Leading Role 1999 (Roberto Benigni)
Oscar Foreign Language Film 1999 (Ιταλία)
Nominated for Best Picture 1999
Nominated for Directing 1999 (Roberto Benigni)
Nominated for Writing (Original Screenplay) 1999
Nominated for Film Editing 1999 (Simona Paggi)