The actress returned to the cinema at the age of 86 in “Life before Yes,” shot entirely during confinement by the coronavirus.
The one of Madama Rosa is a character written for the show off of who interprets it.
And if that woman is Sophia Loren, do the best to sit and watch Life before him (opens on Friday the 13th) is to relax and wait for everything that the Roman is capable of offering us.
Madama Rosa is a woman who has suffered a lot. A Jewish woman, a survivor of Auschwitz, now grown up, when she left prostitution, she took care of the children of prostitutes who cannot have them with her in her apartment in a building with huge stairs.
She can hardly support the rent of the place, so she is willing to part with a couple of candlesticks to face that expense, when a boy, on the street, and in the middle of the market, struggles, pushes her, makes her fall and steals them.
At their “refuge” of children, as they call it, comes Momo, a boy who, in this adaptation of Romain Gary’s best seller, is an orphan. He is taken away, then, not by a prostitute, but by a doctor, who takes care of her. Madama Rosa’s surprise is capitalized when she realizes that this Muslim Algerian is the boy who stole from her.
Shot entirely during confinement by the coronavirus,Life before him It is the type of film that appeals to sentiment, or sentimentality, which is not exactly the same.
And the problem with the making of Edoardo Ponti – son of Carlo Ponti and Loren – is that it is a film about ties, but it is not understood how they are established. For example, how Momo, from being an almost bad character, becomes a breadcrumb.
Then, the film walks the paths of friendship between the older woman and the little one, and Rosa’s health problems, who is catatonic, to lead to a predictable outcome.
This is not the first time that Romain Gary’s best seller has been moved to the cinema. Simone Signoret played the same role in Madame Rosa (1977), the Moshé Mizrahi film that won France the Oscar for the best film spoken in a foreign language.
And now there is talk of another Oscar, clearly not the best picture, but for Sophia Loren. That if you campaign for her, it is simply because her name is Sophia Loren and she is 86 years old, and a nomination would mark a record: that of being the first non-English-speaking actress to be a candidate for the third time (Loren won it for Two women –The ciociara-, in 1962, and she was again a candidate for Italian marriage, in 1966, both times directed by Vittorio De Sica).
For purists who have read the Goncourt Prize-winning book, the adaptation of Life before him It will leave you, at times, perplexed. She is no longer in Belleville, Paris, but in Italy, and Madama Rosa does not weigh 95 kilos but rather than the slim figure that Loren maintains. The boys she takes care of are only two others, Momo does not try to earn coins with her puppet, but trafficking drugs, and many other characters have disappeared, who made up the plot, among them, Momo’s father, who was looking for him again …
Loren was away from the cinema since her small role in Nine, the 2009 Rob Marshall musical (he had participated in his younger sister’s autobiographical telefilm, My house is full of mirrors, in 2010). The interpreter of We had loved each other so much He has not lost an ounce of presence, talent, dedication. And it shines, yes, by its own brilliance, with its hot blood, the one that it showed in such good films, when it had better directors directing it.
“Life before itself”
Drama. Italy, 2020. Original title: “La vita davanti a se”. 94 ‘. SAM 13. From: Edoardo Ponti. With: Sophia Loren, Ibrahima Gueve, Renato Carpentieri. Available on: Netflix, from Friday, November 13.