A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip's birthday.
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Fred and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children's confused lives, Mick's enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again. Written by
Anonymous Love Revolver
Madalina Diana Ghenea's famous scene in the bath was Number 1 in WhatCulture.com's "15 Most Paused Movie Moments Of 2015": "So gob-smacking, was this nude scene in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth (2015), that it ended up being used as the film's official poster, despite the fact that the scene is a minor part of the film. And of course the fact that no mainstream cinema in the world would be able to display it, for fear of inciting prudish parents. But you can see why they did it: casting Romanian model-turned-actress Madalina Diana Ghenea to play Miss Universe for the nude scene was an inspired choice. As adverts for the beauty of the human body go, there's no denying she's pretty compelling." (Simon Gallagher, 2015) See more »
In the restaurant, when Caine tells Keitel that the old silent couple is mute, you can clearly see the mesh that holds Caine's wig in place on his right temple. See more »
There is a sense of nostalgia in the films of Paolo Sorrentino. The nostalgia often comes across as a sense of regret for the loss of innocent love experienced by the central characters during their youth. Such a regret can easily fills one's heart with melancholy but Sorrentino seems to have mastered the art of mixing gravity with levity. His films can be both serious and farcical at the same time and that's why they are more complex than what they prima facie appear. Youth is no different.
Here is a film about larger-than-life oldies pining for their long past golden years of youth. We have a retired conductor (Michael Caine), a self-indulgent filmmaker well past his prime (Harvey Keitel), an insecure actor (Paul Dano), a mountaineer, a Miss Universe with brains, and an overweight footballer (most probably based on Maradona). There is a lively cameo from Jane Fonda who plays a legendary actress from Hollywood and then there is Rachel Weisz who plays the conductor's daughter.
Among other things (which certainly include Sorrentino's brilliant direction), it is the performances of Caine and Keitel that makes it a treat to watch. While Keitel steals every scene that he is a part of, Caine delivers a deeply nuanced performance around which the entire movie revolves. Youth is nowhere near being Sorrentino's best but it is certainly one of the best films of the year.
For more on the world of cinema, please visit my film blog "A Potpourri of Vestiges".
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