Madame Rosa (1977): Simone Signoret Shines in Best Foreign Language Film

Oscar-winning French actress Simon Signoret (“A Room at the Top,” 1959) gives a wonderful, heartfelt but not sentimental performance in the title role. She plays an aging woman who’s a survivor of the Holocaust (Auschwitz concentration camp), making a living by taking care of children of her fellow prostitutes in Paris. With her health rapidly declining, an Arab boy she had raised, takes care of her needs, and a special bond evolves between them.
Directed by Paris-based Israeli director Moshe Mizrahi, “Madame Rosa” won the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Well-shot by ace lenser Nestor Almendros, the film also features Claude Dauphin and director Costa-Gavras as an actor.
Oscar Alert
“Madame Rosa” won in a category that included “Iphigenia” from Greece, “Operation Thunderbolt” from Israel, “A Special Day” from Italy, and “That Obscure Object of Desire” from Spain.