Our favourite classic Italian films that are sure to capture your heart

favourite italian films

Our favourite classic Italian films that are sure to capture your heart

Italian cinema is a direct reflection of its culture, with passion and the importance of expressing ones emotions being a key part of most of their films.

The 90s in particular saw Italian cinema at its best, with the first two films we’ve listed below going on to win Oscars at the Academy Awards.

These films are still celebrated today for their poignant and romantic messages, showcasing the true appreciation Italians have for love and life.

Read on to find out which are our favourite Italian films!

La Vita Bella: Life is Beautiful

La Vita Bella teaches us that there is always something to be thankful for, even in the darkest of times.

Roberto Benigni co-writes, directs and stars in his heartwarming film, in which his character, Guido, fights to protect his son from the horrors of the Holocaust through humour and imagination.

The film follows Guido as he finds love and creates a family that is soon torn apart by the Nazi regime, then from the confines of a concentration camp he works to convince his young son that it’s all just a game.

Benigni shows viewers what it means, as a parent, to shield children from the sometimes harsh realities of life, resulting in an uplifting film of love and hope.

Il Postino: The Postman

Michael Radford and Massimo Troisi’s Il Postino follows the life of an ordinary man, Mario Ruoppolo, on a small Italian island as he becomes the official postman for famous poet, Pablo Neruda.

Mario’s gentle and sweet nature captures viewers’ hearts from the beginning of the film as he earnestly rehearses before his encounters with Neruda, from first asking for his book to be signed, to wanting to know about Neruda’s deeper thoughts.

Neruda helps Mario to understand and express himself through poetry, which he uses to woo and catch the affection of a young barmaid.

Troisi pours his heart into this film, quite literally as he postponed a heart transplant to see the production through which, tragically, led to his death shortly after filming finished, making Il Postino his final and parting film.

Honourable Mention: The Godfather

While not strictly an Italian film, The Godfather pays homage to Southern Italian culture with Italian-American director, Francis Ford Coppola, working hard to make sure that his film was a true representation of his heritage.

Set in post-World War II New York, The Godfather takes you through the inner workings of the Italian Mafia through the Corleone family, weaving an intricate storyline that takes you onto the next two films in the franchise.

Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, the film won three Oscars at the 1973 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Coppola really draws you into the life of the Corleone’s, with the film’s infamous almost-three-hour running time allowing for him to really explore each of his characters and the growth they experience.


Alesia Bilotta

Alesia is studying a Bachelor of Communications with a major in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney. She is passionate about experiencing other cultures through food, travel and the interwoven stories in each. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: editor@culturalpulse.com.au