Italian acting icon Sophia Loren is returning to Oscar season this fall with the Netflix foreign drama “The Life Ahead,” directed and co-written by Loren’s son Edoardo Ponti. The film is based on Romain Gary’s bestselling novel “The Life Before Us” and stars Loren as a Holocaust survivor who becomes a maternal figure for a 12-year-old street kid named Momo who robs her. Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress with her 1961 drama “Two Women,” and now Netflix is mounting a Best Actress campaign for her with “The Life Ahead.” Watch the official trailer for the movie in the video below.
Netflix’s synopsis for “The Life Ahead” reads: “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 (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 Life Ahead” is notable for not only bringing Loren back to the big screen but also for ending her decade-long feature film hiatus. Loren’s last big movie role was in the 2009 musical adaptation of “Nine,” which was followed in 2010 by the television miniseries “My House Is Full of Mirrors.” In 2014, she starred in “Human Voice,” based on the Jean Cocteau play. (The same one that Pedro Almodóvar adapted with Tilda Swinton this year.) In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Loren said her hiatus was not planned.
“It just happened,” the actress said. “I wanted to be inspired and challenged. I didn’t know any films that I wanted to do right away. If you choose the things that you think you can do best, you always save yourself in a way, because you put on the screen an image of yourself, which is truthful. This is what people like: truth.”
“The Life Ahead” will begin streaming on Netflix starting November 13. A limited theatrical release is also being planned for November.