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.
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
Once again, Paolo Sorrentino proves to be a master of cinema and doesn't disappoint. The story is set in an apparently isolated place: a luxury hotel in the mountains of Switzerland inhabited mainly by artists and people from the show business (curious the reference to Maradona, thanked by Sorrentino during his Oscar acceptance speech).
Youth is a tender film in both the characters and the themes: growing old and the fears related to it are common to all men. Fred (Michael Caine) is an old man who still has a lot going on in his life: he has to deal with friendship, love, family and his career. The only thing that makes him different from the younger people surrounding him is that he is aware of memory. It is through memory that he has lost and that he tries to regain his identity. Everyone in the film is in search for identity: the contrast between how people see them and what they want to be seen as.
The screenplay is complex and intense and for this reason sometimes hard to follow. I loved the irony Sorrentino always puts in his movies: through surrealism he is capable of expressing humanity in a simple but yet beautiful way. All the cast delivers great performances and cinematography is absorbing as always. Sorrentino is a director of places: no matter if it is the Eternal City of Rome or an hotel immersed in nature - he is able to capture all the beauty of it.
What the film teaches us, in the end, is that we are what we do - so, I'd add, it's better if we do what we are - but we are nothing without love, which is the driving force of humanity.
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