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The Life Ahead (Edoardo Ponti & Sophia Loren)

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    ENGLAND
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    Son of the LEGENDARY Carlo Ponti Sr. directs his mother, the Global LEGEND Sophia Loren in her first film in 10 years.

    Loren plays a Holocaust survivor and former prostitute that babysits for current prostitutes. She is given the task of taking care a young boy named Momo (Acting debut of Ibrahima Gueye), who is troubled at first, but opens up to Rose (Loren).

    The trailer debuted today (10/21/2020) to great reviews and here it is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0ejncDxgCc

    The trailer is incredible. Makes me excited to see the film. The film is a possible contender for the following categories in my opinion:

    Best Adapted Screenplay (Edoardo Ponti & Ugo Chiti)
    Best Original Song (Diane Warren)
    Best International Feature Film
    Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sophia Loren)
    Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ibrahima Gueye)
    Best Director (Edoardo Ponti)
    Best Picture

    Edoardo Ponti definitely has legacy on his side. His father is one of the most legendary Italian film makers and his mother is the most legendary Italian film actress ever.

    What are your thoughts???

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    ENGLAND
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    Reviews are starting to pour in and everything seems to be quite positive thus far. Sophia Loren and newcomer Ibrahima Gueye are being highlighted in every review. Some on twitter have talked about their hopes for Italy to submit The Life Ahead to the Best International Feature Film category.

    Some praise for the performances:

    Deadline:
    “The Life Ahead’ Review: Sophia Loren’s Return To The Screen Is Nothing Less Than Triumphant”
    “Loren has excelled working in many different languages but obviously is most comfortable in Italian, bringing nuance to all her lines and settling into the world of Madame Rosa with seeming ease. That’s something only the greats can do, and she hasn’t lost a beat despite the years away from a movie set. Loren also is quite moving in scenes where she has to show some of the effects of a brain tumor including a rooftop sequence in the rain where she falls into a frightening trance. And she plays nicely off Gueye, a 14-year-old who matches her with a remarkable naturalness and instant appeal.”

    ScreenDaily:
    “Sophia Loren is the main highlight of The Life Ahead, a sentimental coming-of-age drama directed by her son Edoardo Ponti.”
    “Loren brings a regal air to Rosa while also hinting at the character’s lingering trauma from surviving the Auschwitz camps. (The children she babysits observe the numbers tattooed on her arm, assuming that she must be a super-cool secret agent.) But it’s not just past pain which plagues Rosa, who has heart issues and a mind that is failing her. To be sure, this is a melodramatically constructed character, but Loren wisely underplays Rosa’s litany of woes, suggesting the resilience of a woman who has needed a steely will to survive.

    Newcomer Gueye struggles to reveal Momo’s inner life, which is a problem since the sullen character has trouble opening up. Like Rosa, the boy has experienced tragedy in his childhood, but while the actor demonstrates movie-star charisma with his boisterous smile, he has difficulty articulating Momo’s growing fondness for this older woman. ”

    The Jame Report:
    “Sophia Loren is finally back on our screens. At the age of 86, Loren ably proves time hasn’t diminished her star quality one bit, as she effortlessly delivers one of the year’s best leading female performances.”
    “In a performance that firmly places the screen legend in strong contention for her third Best Actress Oscar nomination, Loren sparkles in a commanding turn that proves she hasn’t lost her ability to deftly lead a film with glorious grace and humility. Madame Rosa is a role she was clearly born to play. She slips into this character with such ease, it’s as if she’s been inhabiting Rosa for years. Loren effortlessly creates a fierce presence whose tough exterior slowly evaporates to unveil a vulnerability born of PTSD from her experiences during the Holocaust and affected by a brain illness that’s causing her to occasionally fall into terrifying catatonic episodes of aberration.”

    IndieWire:
    “Loren manages to inject the jaded old woman with an endearing blend of wisdom, fatigue, and smarminess that makes her appeal to the rascally adolescent entirely credible, while Gueye should have a long career ahead of him. Loren, returning to the screen for the first time in a decade, can play a role that fits her 86-year-old visage, and she brings a sturdy, domineering quality to the part. Yet Gueye, as the 12-year-old drug dealer forced to live under the elderly woman’s care, ends up as the real centerpiece.”

    The Hollywood Reporter:
    “Loren creates a warm-blooded, grounded character, whose feistiness ebbs slowly as the ravages of age, ill health and painful memory take hold. It’s a lovely performance, full of pathos, from an esteemed actress whose wealth of experience illuminates this touching human drama.”

    The Wrap:
    “Loren is resolutely unglamorous, her face drawn and her hair a tangle of gray. On the surface, her Madame Rosa is all crankiness and bluster, but beneath that is resignation and deep hurt. Loren could have taken the part in a louder, bigger, showier direction, but she’s confident enough not to milk the emotion, and subtle enough to mesh with her remarkable and untrained costar, Ibrahima Gueye.”
    “Sophia Loren Gets a Grand Showcase in a Drama by Her Son”

    Awards Watch:
    “‘The Life Ahead’ for Sophia Loren May Spell More Oscar Gold”
    “If for some reason Italy doesn’t submit The Life Ahead as their International Feature Oscar bid, the performances are sure to take notice, especially for Loren. She’s as commanding of a presence on screen as ever, playing a tough woman who takes no shit. A woman with a hard exterior that we slowly see crumble with affecting vulnerability. It’s evident that her experiences in the war still haunt her character as she suffers from crippling PTSD mixed perhaps with early signs of a memory disorder. In these moments, Loren exudes immense fragility in a performance that’s subdued yet powerful. Gueye is absolutely exceptional in his first ever feature film role. It’s impossible to match Loren’s skill, but Gueye comes darn close with the intensity of an old soul.”

    Lights Cameras Jackson ?:
    “While Loren is the big name in the cast, it’s Geuye (in his feature film debut) who carries the movie. It’s a complex, admirable performance that should attract attention. Loren supplies a supporting presence, though her character is absolutely pivotal. The silver screen legend does have a handful of quiet, memorable scenes.”

    Twitter:
    Sara Clements – “THE LIFE AHEAD is a beautiful & moving film about how the effects of loss manifest in two people of different generations and who both carry a similar pain in their hearts. Sophia Loren gives a subdued yet powerful performance and Ibrahima Geye is wonderful in his debut.”

    Doug Jamieson – “Sophia Loren rockets into Oscar contention with her magnificent performance in THE LIFE AHEAD. A heartbreaking drama that will leave you in tears, it’s a gorgeous film that allows the luminous Loren to absolutely shine. Ibrahima Gueye is equally wonderful in his film debut.”

    Clayton Davis – “‘The Life Ahead’ is charming and heartfelt. Sophia Loren has still got it, carefully constructing one of her most daring portrayals of her career. Italy would be wise to submit it for the Oscars. Packs a beautiful, emotional punch by the end. A joyful ride.”

    Matt Neglia – “THE LIFE AHEAD is a simple and modest story that is elevated by its performances from the legendary Sophia Loren & newcomer Ibrahima Gueye”

    Chris James – “Also… Sophia Loren is great in #TheLifeAhead. The movie is good, but she’s something special. Also Ibrahima Gueye is wonderful.”

    Joey Magidson – “Sophia Loren is definitely a Best Actress contender for The Life Ahead. The movie has more ups and downs, but she’s quite good. Voters may find it hard to resist her.”

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    ENGLAND
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    #1203811896

    With 4 reviews, The Life Ahead has scored a 65 on Metacritic thus far and has scored a 100% with Rotten Tomatoes with only 5 reviews.

    I suspect that there will be an increase to a 70+ score for Metacritic and a 85+ score for Rotten Tomatoes. We will see.

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    Monsoon 🌊
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    #1203811977

    Get it Sophia! 👏🏾

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    BigJay2012
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    #1203812240

    I think Sophia is happening

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    ENGLAND
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    #1203812759

    With 1 added review, The Life Ahead jumps up to 69 on Metacritic. Still at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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    ENGLAND
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    #1203813185

    Music video to Laura Pausini’s song written by Diane Warren. Beautiful song.

    https://youtu.be/imjSm7FNmwE

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    ENGLAND
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    Still waiting for more reviews but here is another review from The Playlist.” (Full review https://theplaylist.net/the-life-ahead-review-20201101/)

    “Sophia Loren’s expressive eyes are one of cinema’s greatest treasures, and in her first feature in a decade the icon’s gaze swiftly reclaims our attention as if she’d never been absent. “The Life Ahead,” an Italian-language drama directed by the actress’ son Edoardo Ponti (“Between Strangers”), provides an oft-moving, mostly proficient canvas for her to return in resplendent fashion.”

    “A production fit for the legend’s stature and storied career, where Loren’s screen time is maximized for impact, “The Life Ahead” still leaves us eager to learn more about Madame Rosa, not only her tragedies but her joys as well. The movie spoils the audience with the restraint of Loren’s interpretation of a burdened fighter, but then bypasses defter character development that could have exalted it further. On the plus side, it finally saved us from having “Nine” as our most recent film memory of her.”
    “. Catch Diane Warren’s memorable Italian power ballad, “Io sì (Seen),” performed by famed singer Laura Pausini, in the credits for a reminder of this message.”

    “Fundamentally, “The Life Ahead” is the type of pleasant, emotional crowd-pleaser that casual viewers might find just adventurous enough with regards to the societal ills it addresses to feel like they’ve learned something of value. For those seeking a shrewder treatment, it’ll resonate as perfectly acceptable, a solid, middle of the road drama with the singular caveat that anything starring Loren automatically qualifies as an event—even if a minor one. [B-]”

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    ENGLAND
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    I do not plan on posting every review, but since there are not many out there, here is another one.

    Awards Radar
    “Luckily, she returns to the screen in full force in The Life Ahead. Directed and written by her son, Edoardo Ponti, the drama comes alive thanks in larger part to Sophia Loren’s incredible performance. Her star-power is a rare quality that never leaves.”

    “Sophia Loren’s performance feels both within her star persona and an interesting extension for her as an actress. As a maternal presence, she’s tough and spirited. Dealing with kids between nine and twelve, she more than keeps up. What’s special about her performance is the way creates a character that has convincingly been a pillar of this community for decades.”

    “As Momo, Ibrahima Gueye takes to the camera like a natural. He has a commanding screen presence and can break your heart with his eyes alone. He gives Loren an energy that is contagious. Together, they make a wonderful on-screen pair.”

    Loren makes a strong case for a Best Actress nomination, which would be her first since 1964 (Marriage: Italian Style). With 56 years separating her nominations, she would easily best the record for longest time between nominations. This record is currently held by Henry Fonda, who waited 41 years between nominations for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and On Golden Pond (1981), which he won.”

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    ENGLAND
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    Here is one more quote from a review. The reviewer name is Anne Brody.
    https://www.whatshesaidtalk.com/the-mighty-mighty-sophia-loren-stars-in-sons-film-the-life-ahead/

    “The legendary Sophia Loren celebrates sixty years as an actor this year. And after a ten-year absence from the screen returns with a stunning, Oscar-worthy performance in her son Edoardo Ponti’s drama The Life Ahead. An Oscar to join the one she won for Two Women, as the first woman to win Best Actress for a foreign film.”

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    Monsoon 🌊
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    #1203816719

    Sophia is coming for a nomination

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    ENGLAND
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    #1203817911

    Rotten Tomatoes only added 2 more reviews thus far (9 total) but the score is still at 100%.

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    ENGLAND
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    New reviews on Loren:

    New York Post:
    “‘The Life Ahead’ review: At 86, Sophia Loren is better than ever”
    https://nypost.com/2020/11/05/the-life-ahead-review-at-86-sophia-loren-is-better-than-ever/

    Chicago Sun Times:
    “The Life Ahead’: Sophia Loren commands the screen at 86”
    https://chicago.suntimes.com/movies-and-tv/2020/11/5/21549518/the-life-ahead-review-sophia-loren-movie-edoardo-ponti-italy

    Third Coast Review
    “Review: Sophia Loren Still Delivers in Netflix’s Touching Drama The Life Ahead”
    https://thirdcoastreview.com/2020/11/05/film-review-the-life-ahead/

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    bellajoe
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    My whole news feed, aside from the election, seems to be filled with raves for Sophia. She is happening, and I could not be more happy.

    FYC Oscars 2021:
    Best Picture: Nomadland, Minari
    Best Actress: Sophia Loren, Viola Davis
    Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman
    Best Director: Chloe Zhao
    Best Documentary: Gunda
    Best Song: Boss Bitch- Doja Cat

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    ENGLAND
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    Boston Herald
    “Sophia Loren shines in ‘The Life Ahead”

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