Miramax risks giving us too much of a good thing as it re-releases Benigni's 1998 Oscar sensation in an English dubbed version. Those who hate reading subtitles should like it just fine, but artistically, the new philistine-friendly version lacks the original's charm. Jonathan Nichols' dubs for il maestro don't possess the subtlety of Benigni (who did win Best Actor, mind you).
At points where Benigni whispered, Nichols blurts it out as if he's trying to be heard above a crowd. The nuance of the original Italian is gone in many scenes, replaced by a clumsier English approximation. But the movie is still moving, still enchanting and still quite funny. Just don't believe the newspaper ads that have Benigni claiming, "I used to say, 'Buongiorno, Principessa!' Now I say, 'Hello, Princess.' " For whatever reason, that's the only thing in the movie they left in Benigni's voice. Life is beautiful, but strange, as well.