The great Sophia Loren is finally back after an 11-year-long hiatus.
The legendary Italian actress takes the leading role in The Life Ahead, a film directed by her son Edoardo Ponti. The movie is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by French writer Romain Gary. Loren plays Madame Rosa, an elderly Jewish woman and former prostitute who hosts children to rustle up some money. This is how she’ll meet Momo (Ibrahima Gueye in his debut role), a Sudanese 12-year-old who tries to rob her during their first meeting.
The relationship Rosa and Momo is not easy, with hostile behaviours on both fronts—but things will slowly change. Living together and getting to know each other, Rosa and Momo will form a familiar, beautiful bond, and both of them will find out they’re not so different after all.
The movie also stars Renato Carpentieri, Iosif Diego Pirvu, Massimiliano Rossi, Abril Zamora and Babak Karim, while director Edoardo Ponti and Ugo Chiti penned the screenplay adaptation.
In 1962, Sophia Loren won an Oscar for Best Leading Actress for the film Two Women, a film produced by her late husband Carlo Ponti. Nearly 60 years later, the Italian actress is back on set for the third time with her son, Edoardo Ponti. He directed her in Between Strangers in 2002 and in the short film Human Voice in 2014. Now, they’re back together: and there’s a high chance they’ll make history, just like Loren and her husband did about 60 years ago.
Loren stated that throughout her career, she has had the chance to work with the most important studios in the world, but she’s never encountered the open-mindedness and cultural diversity of Netflix. “They understand that you can’t build a world-famous production studio without working with talented people in every country, without giving them a voice to be heard,” Loren said. “Everyone has the right to be heard, and our movie talks about this and this is exactly what Netflix does.”
Ted Sarandos, who is in charge of the streaming service, remarked that he is honoured to welcome the legendary actress to the online world, adding that The Life Ahead is a beautiful and brave story that, just like Sophia Loren, will captivate the Italian audience and the rest of the world.
The Life Ahead will debut on Netflix on 13 November 13th and, like many other Netflix Oscar contenders, it will go out in selected cinemas, but even before its release, there are rumors that suggest Sophia Loren might earn a nomination for her role as Madame Rosa.
Words by Federica Battiato
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