In the new trailer for the film released by Netflix, Loren is seen playing Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who helps to raise the children of prostitutes. In the clip, Loren’s character agrees to take in an orphan boy, Momo, for two months — even after he stole from her.
At first, a frustrated Rosa says the unruly Momo (played by Ibrahima Gueuye) is “not normal” and “rotten to the core.” But the two eventually bond as they get to know one another.
The tearjerker teaser, set to a haunting ballad by Laura Pausini, shows the boy telling Rosa he needs her help, and that she is the first person in his life who made him feel worthy of their trust. In a poignant voiceover, he later reflects on his caretaker in the past tense.
“Humanity is but a comma in the big book of life. But whenever Mama Rosa looked at me with her big eyes ….she wasn’t just a comma. She was the whole book.”
Viewers reacted to the powerful trailer in the comments section.
“Omg Sophia Loren!! I have to watch this,” one viewer wrote.
“It’s good to see legendary actress Sophia Loren back on the screen,” another added.
“I’m so here for Sophia Loren’s comeback!! How cool would it be if she got her first Oscar nomination since the ’60s for this?!” a third commenter chimed in.
Another fan touted “the greatest Italian actress and the greatest Italian singer” in the same project.
“Certainly, the result can only be a masterpiece,” the admirer wrote.
Loren’s last big-screen role was in the 2009 movie, Nine. While she has worked on occasion since then, The Life Ahead marks her first lead in a film in 11 years.
It’s not a huge surprise that Loren was on board for The Life Ahead. Her son, Edoardo Ponti, is the director of the film.
Last month, she told Deadline that when her son pitched the role to her it was “a dream come true.”
Loren described her character as “tough,” “fragile,” and a “survivor,” and noted that she reminded her of her own mother.
Loren won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1961 for her work in the movie Two Women. Sixty years later she could be in the running for that honor once again.
The Life Ahead drops November 13 on Netflix.