Sophia LorenThe expressive eyes are one of cinema’s greatest treasures, and in her first feature film in a decade, the icon’s gaze quickly caught our attention as if she had never been absent. “The life before us, “An Italian-language drama directed by the actress’ son Edoardo Ponti (“Between strangers”) Offers her an often moving, mostly competent canvas on which she can return in a radiant way.
READ MORE: Diane Warren chooses Oscar Nod # 12 with “Io Si (seen)” from “The Life Ahead” [Exclusive]
Ponti and co-author Ugo Chiti transplant Romain Gary’s 1975 French novel “Life Before Us” into the turbulent present by the Italian sea. Not surprisingly, the major conflicts over marginalization remain relevant. However, in adapting the text, the duo loaded the plot with today’s most pressing and controversial issues – some more than others. Undocumented immigration, transgender discrimination, and the need for religious tolerance are summed up in the sun-drenched story of an unlikely friendship.
Madame Rosa (Loren), a holocaust survivor with no nonsense, made a living looking after the children of working prostitutes. Weathered but still lively, it commands deserved respect. But when the resilient woman agrees to take on Momo (the first actor) Ibrahima Gueye), a 12-year-old orphan from Senegal, is being challenged at the request of an elderly doctor. The young man does not take this imposed move and the rules under the roof of the eighty-year-old well.
Without parental supervision, Momo carved his own
Hardscrabble Path in Petty Crime and Drug Trafficking. The apparent stability of
Madame Rosa’s house makes it possible to continue these activities with less suspicion
from the authorities. Despite his age and inexperience, Gueye is an actor
Revelation, Loren’s on-screen potency corresponds to the recurring warming of her characters
tête-à-têtes. The formulaic narrative arc follows their relationship from enemies
to love as each acknowledges the fate of the other
personal story. As her health declines, Madame Rosa eventually makes one
Pact with Momo, who gives history higher stakes.
Still, due to the co-stars’ intense performance, relying first on anger and then on real diligence, the co-stars retain their interest. As Madame Rosa, Loren shines with strict grace, even in moments of intimate devastation the camera makes flawless. Immense pain is conveyed in their silence. Loren’s Madame Rosa stares into the distance or, more precisely, into her buried trauma and says the bare minimum, but feels plentiful. In a dark, calm scene with a sad Momo, after the departure of another child in her care, she offers a few words of encouragement and the caress of her hand that feel meaningful.
A production that fits the legend’s stature and career.
Where Loren’s screen time is maximized for impact, is “The Life Ahead”
We really want to know more about Madame Rosa, not just about her tragedies, but also about her joys
also. The film spoils the audience with the reluctance of Loren
Interpretation of a burdened fighter, but then bypasses a subtle character
Development which it could have increased further. On the plus side, it’s finite
Saved us from having “Nine” as our most recent movie memory of her.
Meanwhile, Ponti, the veteran director who is working with his mother again, directs his focus to the supporting characters who address other latent issues, but also clutter the plot. There’s Spanish trans woman Lola (Abril Zamora) desperate for her father’s acceptance and a kind-hearted Muslim shopkeeper who tries to take care of Momo. Her contributions to the overall work don’t have lasting implications, but Lola’s appearance helps propel it forward and create some of the most ethereal cameraman cases Angus Hudson Urges (e.g. Lola and Madame Rosa dance). Magical realism in the form of an imposing lioness, a symbolic maternal presence that the boy has to cope with, and triumphantly obvious musical clues express Momo’s inner workings with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Not as sneaky or manipulative as it could easily turn out to be, especially since Madame Rosa is far from an angelic savior, but rather a woman with her own luggage, immerse us in her. His valid, albeit completely mundane, thesis is that, as human beings, no matter where we come from or what we have done to survive, we are all worthy of compassion and not our character’s judgment based on our past. Catch Diane WarrenThe memorable Italian power ballad “Io sì (Lakes)” performed by a famous singer Laura Pausini, in the credits for a reminder of this message.
Basically “The Life Ahead” is the kind of pleasant, emotional crowd puller that casual viewers find just adventurous enough with regard to the social grievances mentioned to have the feeling that they have learned something valuable. For those seeking shrewd treatment, it is considered perfectly acceptable, solid drama in the middle of the street with the unique caveat that anything starring Loren automatically qualifies as an event – even if it is one small event. [B-]