Weekend watch with strong female leads – 2020 releases
Today’s films come with a heavy warning, they’re not easy watches. I cried five times watching Hillbilly Elegy and my heart felt very heavy watching The Life Ahead.
Two completely different films, in different locations, about different people, but both carrying the story of amazing and very resourceful children being stuck in dreadful situations.
At first I thought Glenn Close, playing the grandmother, looked hilarious in her 80’s look, chain smoking and cussing like a gangsta rapper. But it’s not funny, especially since it’s based on a true story, about an abusive drug addict mother (Amy Adams) making herself dependent on her own children. The son is the writer of the memoir by the same name.
The film was met with quite a lot of criticism in the US, but for me, it’s a raw, touching story, brilliant acting, set and wardrobe.
The Life Ahead
Our amazing Sophia Loren is back in a brand-new film, directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti, and it’s amazing! But again, this is not a joyful watch.
The story, set in Bari, Italy, shows a grumpy old Sophia, who’s asked to look after a reckless orphan from Senegal, as well as the children of busy or absent prostitutes she’s already caring for.
Momo, the orphan, is a cunning and crafty young boy, who finds his way into money through drug dealing, but his yearning for his mother turns a bitter heart softer, and the relationship between him and the old lady develops into a close bond, as the decaying Sophia falls deeper and deeper into dementia, re-living her traumatising holocaust memories.
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