A retired orchestra conductor is on vacation 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.
Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty.
Geremia, an aging tailor/money lender, is a repulsive, mean, stingy man who lives alone in his shabby house with his scornful, bedridden mother. He has a morbid, obsessive relationship with... See full summary »
The debut feature by acclaimed Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (La Grande Bellezza) is a stylish and blackly comic look at the dark side of fame. Evocatively set during the eighties, the ... See full summary »
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
In the pool scene, as Caine informs the little boy that the latter is left handed, the "Maradona" character chimes in with: "I'm also left handed" to which Tree responds: "The whole world knows you are left handed". This could be in reference to Maradona scoring a goal with his left hand against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter finals. The incident sparks outrage to this day and has been dubbed "The Hand of God" See more »
When the conductor comes on stage the violinists in the orchestra are using one hand to clap in their lap, while this would never happen at a concert. The etiquette is slowly hitting the bow onto the partition support. 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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