Sophia Loren set to make Triumphant Movie comeback in Netflix’s “The Life Ahead” 

Sophia Loren, one of the biggest stars of the Hollywood Golden age is set to play a lead role in Netflix’s acquired upcoming drama movie The Life Ahead. The film stars the Italian actress alongside Ibrahima Gueye and Abril Zamora and it is directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti. The screenplay is written by Ugo Chiti and Edoardo Ponti based on Romain Gary’s novel “The Life Before Us”.  

In the movie, Loren plays the role of Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who strikes a connection with a young Senegalese immigrant (played by Ibrahima Gueye). Her role in this movie is quite similar to the role she played in the 1961 Film “Two Women” which was not only produced and directed by her late husband, Carlo Ponti but also won her the Oscars award for Best Actress. 

In a phone call with EW, Loren expressed how happy she always is when working on a project with her son especially because they know each other so well. Netflix’s The Life Ahead is the third project and second film Loren and her son have made together.  

Loren’s popularity and fame grew during the early years of her career both because of her amazing looks as well as her power to play roles that require a high display of emotions. This was why she became the first actor to win an Oscar for playing a role in a foreign language feature film. Now 86, “The Life Ahead” is Loren’s first live-action film in over a decade of retirement.  

Loren revealed that she had not intended her hiatus away from the industry to be as long as it turned out to be. Further discussion revealed that she wanted a film that would inspire and challenge her but most of the available films just didn’t feel right to her. While the role she plays in Netflix’s The Life Ahead does not portray any activity Loren is currently doing right now, she revealed that playing the role of a Holocaust survivor gave a nostalgic feeling of her own life as a young girl who grew during the Naples War.  

When asked about the first-time actor Ibrahima Gueye, Loren was full of praises for him saying: “He was a great partner, very in touch with his emotions. I think he will have a great future in this profession, if he chooses it. For his first thing on the screen, he was never upset about the camera, upset about the people around. He just did what he had to do.” 

The Life Ahead is set to premiere on November 13, 2020, in the United States. 

Palm Spring Cancels Its International Film Festival Slated for 2021, Film Awards Gala Date Remains Unchanged 

The organizers of the Palm Springs International Film Festival have confirmed earlier this week that the 32nd annual film festival of the organization which was scheduled to commence February 25, 2021, would no longer hold. This decision was made following the organizer’s lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and whether or not it was worth the risk. The organizers did confirm that its annual film awards gala date would still hold. 

The decision was first reported by KESQ after a letter was forwarded to the festival’s board members. The letter which reads “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in profound ways but we have not stopped believing that cinema has the power to change our hearts and minds. We stand by that truth and commit to continue our efforts in bringing film to our community.” was signed by the Festival’s board of directors. 

This new change is the second time this year the organizers have decided to push back the 32nd edition of their annual event due to health and safety concerns of their guests and staff.  

Other Palm Spring events scheduled for 2021 remains unchanged with the Palm Springs ShortFest still scheduled to hold from June 22-28, 2021. 

Although the film festival would not hold, the organizers confirmed in the letter that the awards ceremony will take place. While details on the Award gala are still not fixed, the gala is confirmed to hold at the Palm Springs Convention center. Also, as of the time of this writing, no honorees for the award have been announced. 

The cancellation of the 2021 Palm Springs Film Festival is the latest change to the annual awards season schedule forced by the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 Oscars award ceremony was also recently shifted to April 25, 2021.

Looking Back at Remakes: Maniac

Maniac(2012)

Directed by Franck Khalfoun

Starring Elijah Wood, America Olivo,  and Nora Arnezeder

Sometimes, remakes do not live up to the original. Other times, remakes are impressive to the point that they are their own films. Maniac(2012) belongs to that latter camp.

This more hi-gloss update of the 1980 slasher flick centers on Frank Zito, a man who has an insatiable lust for killing and scalping women. He soon meets Anna, an artist who asks for his help with her exhibit. Maniac asks if she will finally be the one who stops his lust, and perhaps give him a sense of the love he has always wanted.

One compelling aspect of Maniac is that it is shot in full POV, allowing us to see the movie through Frank’s eyes. I admired that because this makes the movie unique, not being a carbon copy of the original.

This film is more glossy and a little more artsy than the original. The performances and the overall mood gives you an eerie feeling, but I admit that you don’t get a real sense of intense fear until the third act. The kills are interesting, and if you are into blood and gore, this slasher is for you.

If you liked the original Maniac, you owe it to yourself to give this one a watch.  However, if you haven’t seen the original, that is fine.  I think you will still find this intriguing and enjoyable.  My score: 8/10(Add to your collection).