- Glurge: While the film is technically Very Loosely Based on a True Story, the perceived sentimentality of its message that someone, anyone could overcome the shell shock of living through the incomparable horrors of The Holocaust just because of their hopes and optimism has not been without harsh criticism.Mel Brooks: Roberto Benigni's comedy Life Is Beautiful really annoyed me. A crazy film that even attempted to find comedy in a concentration camp. It showed the barracks in which Jews were kept like cattle, and it made jokes about it. The philosophy of the film is: people can get over anything. No, they can't. They can't get over a concentration camp.
- Of course the fact that Benigni's own father was in a Nazi camp at the end of the war and other Holocaust survivors enjoyed the movie suggest that it's very much a matter of... well, YMMV.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: In one of the iconic scenes of the film, Guido "translates" the orders yelled by a Nazi into completely unrelated things invented on the spot, to make his son believe that the camp is actually a game. Looks like Roberto Benigni was the precursors of a popular meme, in which the words of another German guy are translated into something completely different.
- Inferred Holocaust: The movie conveniently ends before the boy inevitably finds out that his father is dead. It is probably for this reason that voice-overs of the boy as an adult were later added to the movie.
- Nightmare Fuel: The pile of emaciated bodies Guido and Giosuè come across after the dinner party. It towers over the two like a mountain, and fortunately Giosuè is asleep and is spared from the sight, but it clearly shakes Guido to his core.
- Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: Some critics, with varying degrees of seriousness, say that Giosuè is likely going to grow up to be a Holocaust denier (though his narration as an adult implies that he did later realize the truth of what was going on).
- Spiritual Licensee: Often considered to be the closest thing we'll ever get to actually seeing The Day the Clown Cried, and in some cases a good indicator as to why that movie has never been shown publicly.
YMMV / Life Is Beautiful