RELEASED 2015 RUNTIME 124 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION PAOLO SORRENTINO SCREENPLAY PAOLO SORRENTINO STARRING MICHAEL CAINE, HARVEY KEITEL, RACHEL WEISZ, PAUL DANO, JANE FONDA MUSIC DAVID LANG
Youth is a comedy drama about two old friends, one a retired conductor (Michael Caine) and the other a director (Harvey Keitel) who is working on the script for his last big film, vacationing in a wellness hotel in the Swiss alps reflecting upon their lives that have been driven by creativity.
In its heart this movie is about the internal struggle of aging and what baggage comes with it. Topics such as life, death, retirement, sickness, body and manifestation are being explored in a subdued comedic style. It’s an interesting movie that spoke to me, since our main characters are creatives and think about what will be left of them once they are gone.
The movie also has this great style. If I had to sum up the movie in one word I would describe it as “calm”. It’s very slow paced and you feel like you are on a wellness vacation yourself. This has to do with the great scenery and how the cinematographer captures it, not only the nature, but also the hotel itself.
There is almost no music, which is a great choice because it really makes the environmental sounds stand out and crisp. It’s almost it’s own character in itself.
Just overall this film feels very European in a way. It never makes a big deal out of nudity scenes which are part of the esthetics of the film and the wellness flair the film portrays.
Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel are really good as these old creatives and come off very natural. There aren’t any crazy scenes to show off their acting abilities. It’s the subdued and calm delivery that makes their performance so good.
There is also bunch of interesting side characters that flesh out the hotel guest list.
Rachel Weisz plays the divorced daughter of Michael Caine’s character, Paul Dano plays a young actor stereotyped by the industry, Jane Fonda an old all star actress who played many leading roles in Harvey Keitel’s character’s movies, and we even have an old overweight Diego Maradona played by Roly Serrano. Everyone does a really great job.
Overall it’s a very nice film about aging and will become relevant for everyone, once you hit that point. It has a great naturalistic style with really good performances and overall makes you feel cozy and calm. A wellness trip on film!