The long-awaited video release of Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" is at hand. You can rent the year's best foreign language film or buy it on a DVD that contains both the original Italian track and a dubbed English one.
The gripping movie won two other Oscars -- best actor for Benigni, the first time the winner in that category came from a foreign language film, and best dramatic score.
Benigni, starring opposite his real-life wife, Nicoletta Braschi, plays a bookstore owner who is determined to shield their young son from the brutal reality of the Hitler era. When they are sent to a concentration camp, he uses all of his indefatigable spirit and cunning in an effort to save the lives of those he loves.
The video is priced for rental. The $39.99 Miramax Collector's Series DVD also contains a featurette and trailer.
Five other movies among the top current releases:
"Wild Wild West," in which Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Selma Hayek and director Barry Sonnenfeld mix comedy, hip-hop fare and retro sci-fi for one of the season's most fun-filled rides. The Warner Home Video is priced at $22.96, and a DVD is listed at $24.98.
"Chinatown," the four-star mystery starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, was a 1974 Roman Polanski hit, nominated for 11 Oscars and recently rated No. 19 on the American Film Institute's list of top 100 films. The Paramount video is listed at $14.95, and the DVD is $29.99.
The TV version of "Inherit the Wind," starring Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott and Beau Bridges, is the story of the landmark trial against Darwinism in the classroom that changed a nation. Lemmon and Bridges were nominated for Emmys for their roles in this MGM video listed at $49.95.
In "Tea With Mussolini," Franco Zeffirelli assembled a cast of top-flight actresses -- Cher, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, Judi Dench and Joan Plowright -- for this tale set in Florence, Italy, on the eve of World War II. The video has no suggested retail price; the DVD lists for $24.98.
"That Championship Season," the third MGM release this week, is the powerful story based on Jason Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, directed by Paul Sorvino. He also stars in this Showtime Original film with Vincent D'Onofrio, Terry Kinney and Tony Shalhoub. It's the story of four high-school friends and basketball stars who reunite after 20 years to discover the secret behind their momentous victory. The reunion finds them squared off against their most formidable opponents -- each other. The video lists for $49.95.