Nearly 60 years ago, Sophia Loren starred as a mother trying to protect her daughter from the horrors of war in World War II Rome in 1961’s Two Women, a film produced by her late husband Carlo Ponti, and a role that would win her the Oscar for Best Actress. Now the legendary actress is returning to the screen after a decade-long hiatus to tread similar ground. Starring as a Holocaust survivor who takes in stray children in a film directed by another Pinto, her son Edoardo. See the trailer for Loren’s long-awaited return to the screen in Netflix’s Oscar contender, The Life Ahead.
The Life Ahead Trailer
Loren stars in The Life Ahead as a Holocaust survivor. Madame Rosa, who takes in and raises the children of prostitutes with whom she once shared the streets. But she puts her foot down over one child: 12-year-old street kid Momo (newcomer Ibrahima Gueye). Who in their first meeting attempted to rob her. Forced to take him in, Rosa and Momo continually clash but slowly begin to warm to each other. Eventually forming a sort of unconventional family unit.
Directed by Edoardo Ponti and adapted by Ponti and Ugo Chiti from Romain Gary’s novel The Life Before Us, The Life Ahead marks Loren’s return to the big screen after a nearly 10-year-long acting hiatus. The international cinema legend last starred in a feature film in 2009’s Nine, but since then has kept a relatively low profile, taking on a handful of minor roles (including a voice-only role in Pixar’s Cars 2) and a documentary. But she told Entertainment Weekly that her break wasn’t intentional. “It just happened. I wanted to be inspired and challenged. I didn’t know any films that I wanted to do right away,” Loren said.
It would take her son, with whom she’s worked on two projects before including one feature film. 2002’s Between Strangers, to bring her out of this unofficial hiatus. “I love his way of directing me,” Loren told EW.
The Life Ahead also stars Renato Carpentieri, Iosif Diego Pirvu, Massimiliano Rossi, Abril Zamora and Babak Karimi. It, like many other Netflix Oscar contenders, will receive a limited theatrical release before debuting on the streamer this November.
Here is the synopsis for The Life Ahead:
In the colorful Italian port city of Bari, the streetwise 12-year-old Senegalese orphan Momo (Ibrahima Gueye) has ambitions to make his fortune in the underworld of the town’s shady alleyways. One day, he steals a bag of items from the elderly Madame Rosa (Sophia Loren), a Holocaust survivor who makes a meagre living raising the children of prostitutes with whom she once shared the streets. When Momo is forced to apologize to Rosa, she reluctantly agrees to take him in temporarily and the two lonely individuals find an unlikely family in each other through a deep and unconventional bond. The kindred spirits become connected to a common destiny that will change the course of their lives.
The Life Ahead premieres in select theaters in November before hitting Netflix on November 13, 2020.