DRAMA; 2hr 4min
STARRING: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda
Twilight time: Caine (left) and Keitel
The tableaux in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth are phenomenal: working once again with cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, The Great Beauty writer-director marries mood and composition with the Swiss Alps as an untouchable backdrop. Fred and Mick (Caine and Keitel), warhorses and old friends, are holidaying at a luxury hotel and spa as they deal with the rigours of ageing. Fred, a composer and conductor, is ostensibly retired but still in demand and soaking up music in every surrounding. Mick, a filmmaker, is working on what he believes will be his showpiece. Weisz is Fred's aggrieved daughter. Dano is a benignly observant actor, prepping for a role in an upcoming German production. Fonda whirls in, made up to the nines, to drop a bombshell.
The acting skews to the theatrical but it's an integral part of Sorrentino's distinguishing style, in which the cavalcade of images hold mesmerising sway. Guests dining and reclining, an uncanny dream sequence, entertainers on a revolving, circular stage, the hotel as hushed as a film set and memories that rise up are the building blocks of a world all his own.