Monday, March 08, 2021 (13 days before the First Day of Spring)
Today, International Women’s Day, is perfect to point fellow film buffs to a fine new movie showing on Netflix. It’s “The Life Ahead”, in Italian with subtitles. It stars the legendary, still-fabulous Sophia Loren.
In this 2020 film, Loren, now eighty-six years old, both looks and acts her age. She still captivates, and as always from somewhere inside, she’s gorgeous. Since her early actress days in the 1950s, she’s been outstanding among international movie stars. Her career began in Italian film’s “early reality” period, when the culture’s movies focused on tragedy and humor, and addressed human beauty from without and within. Loren has appeared in almost-every imaginable lead role calling for a strong woman.
“The Life Ahead” is a modern tour de force showcasing her incredible range of talent. It’s directed by her son, Eduardo Ponti, from his screenplay co-authored with Ugo Chiti. It cases Loren as an Italian Jew and holocaust survivor, who’s become an elderly ex-prostitute. She’s on the edge of poverty and augments her income by boarding a few unwanted children. To two children already under her roof, she unwillingly adds a third. He’s a twelve-year-old orphan from Senegal, a bold, clever thief without an apparent moral compass.
The young actor, Ibrahima Gueve, totally is capable in his leading role opposite Loren. He’s very black, smart, and athletic. She’s very wrinkled, tired, and ill. This film’s beautiful camerawork equally loves both actors.
My favorite movies draw on and illuminate individuals, their entire character, inner and outer. Wholeheartedly, “The Life Ahead” does so. It’s a winner.
On this International Woman’s Day, viva to Sophia Loren. And to other unforgettable, fabulous actresses, who still are active in their eighties. Think of such as Glenda Jackson, Maggie Smith, and Vanessa Redgrave.
Dear Friends: This film reunites us to an Italian eye that has provided to the world great movies. Diana