By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog December 30, 2006 at 7:18AM
Friday December 29 11:12 PM ET
Donkey-faced asshole Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni, best-known for the Academy Award-winning Holocaust comedy Life Is Beautiful, a feel-good sham that hoodwinked millions of moviegoers way back in the winter of 1998, many of whom had never attended a subtitled film before, is about to unleash his new film The Tiger and the Snow on unsuspecting moviegoers this week. Though it already opened at theaters across Europe, Tiger is just now hitting U.S. screens with barely a titter of recognition. When asked if they'd seen the film, several prominent Reverse Shot critics responded: "What? That asshole made another movie?"
Tiger features everyone's favorite lovable scamp and eminent purveyor of comic-gold-spun-from-human-misery as a poet and university teacher in Rome who journeys to Iraq to save the life of the head-wounded girl of his dreams, played by Benigni's real-life wife and personality-free dramatic foil Nicoletta Braschi. A paean to the transformative power of art, the resilience of the human spirit, and the ability of one man to make all of the world's ills into his own opportunistic playground of Disney-honed platitudes, The Tiger and the Snow also bosts several of the filmmaker's trademarks: the female love interest who exists only to stare speechlessly in thrall to her comic savior, bumbling slapstick comedy that appeals mostly to old-world cretins who haven't seen a good national film in about two decades, and nonstop tastelessness and crudity often mistaken for "irreverence."
The thirteen people who still admire Life Is Beautiful for its bold recreation of the Holocaust (especially in its authentic depiction of concentration camp anvil carrying) responded in unison that they couldn't wait to run to the Quad cinema for the U.S. premiere of The Tiger and the Snow. "I can't wait to see what that asshole made this time!" one exclaimed, as she picked sunflower seeds out of her teeth, "I hope it's as good as Pinocchio."