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Sophia Loren
Photograph: Shutterstock/Ilona I

To the delight of everyone, Sophia Loren un-retires to star in a Netflix movie directed by her own son

In 'The Life Ahead,' Loren plays a Holocaust survivor who befriends an orphan.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

After an 11-year hiatus from the big screen, Italian superstar Sophia Loren has returned to cinema to star in a new Netflix movie directed by her own son, Edoardo Ponti.

The 86-year-old actress plays Madame Rosa in The Life Ahead. Her character, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, befriends Momo, a 12-year-old Senegalese orphan that she meets while helping raise kids of deceased prostitutes that she once worked with. The film is the second adaptation of Romain Gary's 1975 novel The Life Before Us.

The movie, which has already been shot and produced, is scheduled to be released worldwide on Netflix on November 13. According to Deadline, "COVID-19 permitting, there are plans brewing for a premiere in Rome at the end of October." 

Talks of a potential Academy Award run are already in place. Although no stranger to the Oscars—she won the 1961 best actress award for her work on Two Women and was the recipient of an Honorary Oscar in 1991—Loren's newest role clearly carries along with it an added pathos and cultural relevance, not to mention an important layer of familiarity given her son's involvement in the production. This would be the third collaboration between the mother and son duo.

"I was always a big fan of the book by Romain Gary. When my son proposed the role to me, it was a dream come true. I jumped at the opportunity to make it," Loren told Deadline while discussing her latest endeavor. "First of all, the story is so rich: it's funny, it's heartbreaking, it's poetic but it's also a story that is very timely as it deals with the importance of being seen and heard. It is also such a movie story of friendship between two characters that on the surface everything separates: race, religion, culture and generation, and yet they are two sides of the same coin. I loved portraying Madame Rose. She is tough, she is fragile, she is a survivor. In many ways, she reminds me of my own mother."

We can't wait to see the iconic star showcase her acting chops once again and we already smell an Oscar nomination in the air. 

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