|YOUTH (director/writer: Paolo Sorrentino; cinematographer: Luca Bigazzi; editor: Cristiano Travaglioni; music: David Lang; cast: Michael Caine (Fred Ballinger), Harvey Keitel (Mick Boyle), Rachel Weisz (Lena Ballinger), Paul Dano (Jimmy Tree), Jane Fonda (Brenda Morel), Mark Kozelek (Himself), Robert Seethaler (Luca Moroder), Alex MacQueen (Queen's Emissary), Luna Mijovic (Young Masseuse), Tom Lipinski (Screenwriter in Love), Chloe Pirrie (Girl Screenwriter), Alex Beckett (Intellectual Screenwriter), Nate Dern (Funny Screenwriter), Mark Gessner (Shy Screenwriter), Paloma Faith (Herself), Ed Stoppard (Julian), Sonia Gessner (Melanie), Madalina Ghenea (Miss Universe ), Sumi Jo (Herself), Wolfgang Michael (Doctor), Leo Artin Boschin (Violin Kid); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Nicola Giliano, Francesca Cima, Carlotta Calori; Fox Searchlight; 2015-Italy-France-U.K.-Switzerland)|
|"Just so much drivel."
by Dennis Schwartz
Paolo Sorrentino ("The Great
Beauty"/"This Must Be The Place"/"The Family Friend")
directs and writes this cynical dramedy. It's heavy on
stunning visuals, a bitter humor, on making so-called
significant life observations, dealing with betrayal
and love, and tuning into practical wisdoms mentioned
about how relationships are marred by communication
issues. It tells us with a patronizing certainty how
one's emotions are what's so important to be in touch
with at all times, how aging changes one's views on
life, about how being unfulfilled leaves one unsettled
and how art can deeply effect both the artist and the
public. The wisdom pedaled seemed more superficial
than deep. More art-house beautiful than spiritual.
widowed and renown English composer and orchestra
conductor Michael Caine and his divorced elderly
life-long best friend, the famous film director Harvey
Keitel, are vacationing together in a posh inn at the
Swiss Alps. Also there are the composer's married
daughter Rachel Weisz, who is married to the
filmmaker's son Ed Stoppard. He shocks everyone by out
of the blue seeking a divorce to marry the inn's pop
singer Paloma Faith.
the composer gets a complete physical by the staff
doctor (Wolfgang Michael) and regular
massages from the muted masseuse (Luna
Mijovic), who also lays on us some good advice
on healing our mental pain.
is there with his team of writers, trying to complete
the script for his latest film.
beautiful surroundings of the Alps, the two seniors
stir their memories back to their youth, grouse about
getting old and seem uptight about what they missed in
their life. A successful young actor (Paul Dano)
befriends the composer and tries to figure out how he
will carry out his latest role, portraying an
unlikable historical monster, as he admires how the
composer handles himself. Especially the cool way the
unruffled composer turns down for personal reasons a
coveted invitation by the Queen, delivered by her
emissary (Alex MacQueen), to
perform his most popular work for her. Jane
Fonda comes to the spa to tell the director, who
discovered her 50 years ago, that she won't be in his
film because she took the money to do a TV series.
Without Jane, Keitel realizes the producers will not
finance the film. The final act serves to mop things
up as best it can--as it finds some practical
solutions for almost all the dire situations
presented. I wasn't convinced by any of the so-called
solutions and, for the most part, thought the
sentiments were just so much drivel.
All the life lessons tossed my way were diverting but soon became tiresome. Though well-meaning, well-produced and well-acted, I somehow couldn't get emotional about it. This comes after being constantly preached at that the emotions are not over-rated but are what it's all about.
REVIEWED ON 11/25/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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