YOUTH is... what? Paolo Sorrentino's best yet? Don't we say that nearly every time a new movie appears from this guy? Why not? In my estimation, he is among and perhaps the finest living filmmaker, even if his movies are, yes, all over the place. But what he lacks as a screenwriter, he more than makes up for as a director. As a writer, he seems to cajole, even fondle, his screenplays into providing the kind of imaginative, rich, one-of-a-kind visuals in which so many of us art-movie fans exult.
Michael Caine, above) in his consistent and increasingly elegant less-is-more mode) and a filmmaker (Harvey Keitel, below) working on what may be his final opus. The two spar (often about a girl they once knew), enjoy each other and their surroundings (a first-class hotel high in the Swiss mountainside) and try to work through their various family problems (the Caine character's daughter is married to the Keitel character's son).
Jane Fonda (above and below) in a role that requires not merely terrific acting but a near-complete abandonment of the usual "star" vanity, Ms Fonda more than delivers the goods.
David Lang, provide an ending so glorious, aurally and visually, that it brings this 124-minute movie to a grand close.
Rachel Weisz (above) as Caine's daughter, and Paul Dano (below, right) as a famous young actor researching some background material for his latest role. Both are fine, especially Mr. Dano, but they take an understandable and expected back seat to their elders here.
Fox Searchlight Pictures, while continuing its run in New York and Los Angeles, opens around the country Friday, December 25 (what a Christmas present for film-goers!), Here in Southern Florida it will play in West Palm Beach, Naples, Delray Beach, Hollywood, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Click here then enter your location to find a nearby playdate.