By Alice King
November 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Benigni took home two Academy Awards for this Holocaust fable about an Italian Jew who persuades his son that life at a Nazi work camp is all just a game. The manic star channels his considerable life force through his dark eyes, which sparkle with hope even as they widen in desperation. Reel Goodies (1:06) The protective pop’s ”translation” of rules (”no snacks,” ”no crying for Mama”) manages to satirize fascistic cruelty and also be heartrending. The Last Detail Originally intended for a July video release, the subtitled Life was pushed back until after an English-dubbed version (also out this week) hit the big screen. B+