Youth (2015)

Youth (2015)


Acting royalty Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda star alongside Paul Dano and Rachel Weisz in this drama, nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2015. Directed by Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty).... More

Caine and Keitel are friends and artists - a conductor and filmmaker respectively - holidaying in the Swiss Alps. The pair deal with old age, the winding down of their careers, their children, and an approach from Buckingham Palace.Hide

Flicks Review

What do mordant Cockney overlord Michael Caine, disgraced Argentian footballer Diego Maradona and kooky British singer Paloma Faith have in common? They're all in Paolo Sorrentino’s latest ode to art and ageing – and, frankly, they could all do a bit better. Sorrentino crafts lush, Fellini-esque tales of Italian high society (see The Great Beauty), but something’s lost in translation in this English-language effort.... More

Eminent composer Caine and his best friend, film director Harvey Keitel, are holed up in a Swiss spa meditating on mortality as Caine resists a royal entreaty to play his most famous work, Simple Songs, for the queen citing “personal reasons”. Before we learn what these are – and long after we care – we’re offered what amounts to a gilded Waiting For Godot with only some striking imagery, the muesli advert surrounds and Jane Fonda’s feisty cameo to recommend it. Rachel Weisz, as Caine’s daughter, is uncharacteristically irritating; Faith, characteristically so; Maradona, excruciating, and there are long passages of saggy letchery as our heroes contemplate the naked bodies around them while swapping urination stories.

Worst of all, it’s tongue-swallowingly pretentious. Keitel’s coterie of bored screenwriters comment on the action like a Greek chorus, Paul Dano (complete with a terrible fake moustache) pops up as the archetypal bored actor, and the leads indulge in the sort of navel-gazing both have rejected throughout their distinguished careers. One scene shows an inexperienced violinist massacring Simple Songs with poor technique. Sorrentino’s film has the opposite problem: a director with all the skills, but nothing to play but tired variations on a theme.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 1 reviews
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BY Gaspardation superstar

Paolo Sorrentino didn't make anything new. Nor did he make anything grander. This film is just a smaller replicate of his last film, and yet it lacks the strength to strike a chord.

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The Press Reviews

72% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Good as it looks, the film starts to feel like an airline magazine collaboratively produced by the editorial staffs of Playboy and Modern Maturity. Full Review

  • May not be as culturally specific as The Great Beauty or Sorrentino's other Italian-language films, but its universal story of how to deal with the passing of time and with changing circumstances is told with precision and tender serenity. Full Review

  • Quixotic, idiosyncratic, effortlessly moving, it's as much a cinematic essay as anything else, a meditation on the wonders and complications of life, an examination of what lasts, of what matters to people no matter their age. Full Review

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