Madame Rosa (1977): Simone Signoret Shines in Mizrahi’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Oscar-winning French actress Simon Signoret (“A Room at the Top,” 1959) gives a wonderfully heartfelt but not sentimental performance in the title role of Madame Rosa.
Madame Rosa
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Film poster

 

Signoret 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” by Bunuel from Spain.
Credits:
Directed, written by Moshé Mizrahi
Produced by Jean Bolvary
Cinematography Néstor Almendros
Edited by Sophie Coussein
Music by Dabket Loubna

Release date: November 2, 1977

Running time: 105 minutes