Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Youth, the new film from Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino, is a Film about nostalgia and the fear of an uncertain future. Fred (Michael Caine), a former composer who wants nothing to do with his past glory, and Mick (Harvey Keitel), a director trying desperately to put together his next picture, are vacationing together at a Swiss resort. They are in the twilight of their lives, people watching at the hotel and dealing with the fallout of their children’s divorce.
There is not much to Youth on the on-set (and surely not when describing it), but the film is both hilarious and moving. It is a bit slower paced in the second half, but Sorrentino seems to care more for its exquisite visuals – which will go down as some of the best of the year. This truly is a film to marvel at for its details.
Caine is terrific and I do not remember the last time Keitel put in a performance this great. I could watch them banter for hours. Supporting turns from Paul Dano as a hotel guest and Rachel Weisz as Caine’s daughter Lena are both well done, but Jane Fonda steals the show as Mick’s lead actress Brenda. She has an extremely limited amount of screen-time, but she arrives like a bat out of hell and chews up every piece of scenery the Film has. She is like a jolt of electricity, giving the Film a shot to the heart and the true reality that shows just how fragile nostalgia can be. Expect Oscar to be calling a number of names this January.
Fox Searchlight Pictures release Youth and has one last screening at TIFF’15 on Friday, September 18 at 3:00 pm at Princess of Wales.