Oscar Watch: The Life Ahead

Added to the long list of potential nominations for Netflix is the release of The Life Ahead on November 13th. The Italian drama marks a return to the silver screen for the legendary Sophia Loren at the age of 86. It’s a family affair as the feature is directed by her son Edoardo Ponti. Early reviews are out and they’re positive with much of the focus on its leading lady.

As has been discussed on the blog previously, Best Actress is shaping up to be a crowded field in 2020. Even with Respect delayed until summer 2021 which takes Jennifer Hudson out of the mix, there are plenty of hopefuls. Even without being screened at the moment, Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom seems like a safe bet. Same goes for Frances McDormand in Nomadland. Then it gets interesting. For the remaining three spots, there are plenty of contenders: Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy, Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman, Michelle Pfeiffer in French Exit, Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman, Kate Winslet for Ammonite, and Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Loren is absolutely part of the mix. In my rankings yesterday, I had Loren at sixth and just on the outside looking in. She is a previous Oscar winner and it was all of 59 years back for Two Women. Her last nomination was 55 years ago for Marriage Italian Style. The Oscars love a good storyline and Loren getting nominated after that long gap certainly constitutes one. In fact, it would set the Academy’s record for longest wait between nominations.

A Best Actress nod isn’t the only race where Life will contend. If Italy submits it as their International Feature player, it could certainly land recognition there. Furthermore, producer Diane Warren has the original song “Seen”. She’s an 11-time nominee who’s never won and early buzz suggests #12 is coming with this composition.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Loren enters the top five at some point and that chatter could increase once viewers get a look in a couple of weeks. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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