Italian cinema with the advent of neo-realist filmmaking has given the world some excellent and nuanced films, films which have set standards of filmmaking at a global scale. They have continued this tradition of making good films even till date. The best of the best, here is the list of top Italian films ever. You can watch some of these best Italian movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
15. Life is Beautiful
Also known as La Vita e Bella, this film is a comedy drama that frankly deals with some shocking source material. Roberto Benigni’s film where he stars as Guido Orefice, a Jewish baker, is based loosely on a book called ‘In the End, I Beat Hitler’ and his own father’s accounts of times spent in a Nazi camp. While the film, initially received a bit of flak for turning such grave matters into comic escapades, Beningni’s film later went on to win critical acclaim and international success. The plot follows the story of the baker who wishes to protect his son from the horrors of the concentration camp trying to trick him into believing that the camp is actually a game. The sacrifice of the father at the end marks the emotional undercurrent present underneath the comic nature of the film. The message of the film much like its title can be described as beautiful and Beningni’s work deserves a firm spot on the list as one of the finest Italian movies the world has seen.
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This film is proof that Italian filmmaking still has what it takes to amaze us. Not all Italian films that have won critical and commercial success are old classics. This 2008 movie directed by Matteo Garrone is based on a book by Roberto Saviano. It focuses on the Casalesi clan, a criminal organization structured like the traditional mafia of Italy. The film is broken into multiple parallel narratives, they focus on different people who aren’t really connected but their lives intersect and their stories portray a realistic picture of crime in Italy. The film’s expert navigation of a sensitive subject matter and its success in portraying crime in its harsh reality without romanticizing it earns this film a well deserved spot on this list.