Monday, September 20, 2010

Actress Italian-Style.

Jose here.

As I was watching The Story of Adele H. yesterday it struck me how Isabelle Adjani is still one of the few actresses to have been Oscar nominated more than once for performances in a foreign language.
Only twelve actresses have received Best Actress nominations for non-English speaking roles (the Academy usually waits for them to work in Hollywood and then reward them...see Simone Signoret, Juliette Binoche, Ingrid Bergman and Penélope Cruz) and out of these ladies, only three have repeated; Adjani (75 and 89), Liv Ullmann (72 and 76) and Sophia Loren (61 and 64).
Out of them only Ms. Loren won.

This bears repeating and celebrating today, more than any other time, because it happens to be her birthday.
She was born, wait for it, 76 years ago in Rome where she spent her childhood dancing, playing the piano and migrating to the country after she was injured during an attack in WWII.
A shrapnel during a bombing hit her chin forcing her parents to leave the city to protect their daughter.
Shallow intermission but can you imagine if something else had happened to her face?
She became to be known the world over as a sex symbol and one of the most beautiful women that ever lived. Guess things happen for a reason huh?

Besides her blessed physiognomy Loren is also a phenomenal actress. Did you know she's the most awarded actress in history next only to Meryl Streep?
Watching Sophia play earthy characters and vamps is always a treat but I guess my favorite performance of hers is in the movie version of Verdi's Aida. She has never seemed more vulnerable and larger than life for me.

Take a look at her legendary face and tell us what's your favorite Sophia Loren film?

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