In this Italian-set adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel The Life Ahead, a Holocaust survivor (Sophia Loren) and a 12-year-old Senegalese orphan (Ibrahima Gueye) find common cause despite a rough first meeting when he steals her pursue.
The Life Ahead will be available on Netflix this Friday. My review is at Slant:
The Life Ahead transfers the story from Paris to the southern Italian seaside town of Bari, whose palm trees and buttery sunshine contrast with the hardscrabble realities of life for the characters. The star of the piece is ostensibly Sophia Loren, who brings a combative hauteur to the role of Madame Rosa, an Italian-Jewish survivor of Auschwitz and former streetwalker who runs a kind of ad-hoc nursery for the children of her colleagues out of her apartment. While presenting herself as diamond-hard, Rosa is beginning to chip a little around the edges, and more in need of a friend than she would admit…
Here’s the trailer: