Death is the subject of Youth, Paolo Sorrentino’s ode to Fellini’s 8 1/2. Death of art forms like classical music and the cinema. Death of institutions like the monarchy in England. And the literal death of individuals faced with a litany of pains and aches. Set in a sprawling Swiss resort, the free-floating film focuses on a cast of characters connected by wealth, privilege, looks, or all of the above: A retired composer (Michael Caine) and his daughter (Rachel Weisz) work out family issues; a film director (Harvey Keitel), his team of writers, and his star (Jane Fonda) work out an ending for an upcoming movie; an actor (Paul Dano) researches a role, he’s going to be playing Hitler; a morbidly obese soccer player with Karl Marx tattooed on his back reflects on his career; a monk attempts levitation; and Miss Universe takes a vacation. Perhaps by design, Youth does not have the libido or sass of Sorrentino’s previous Fellini homage, The Great Beauty. But it does have the same whimsical style that embraces and emboldens natural beauty and delivers its punches with montages and surreal imagery. On the verge of being fatuous, Youth delivers some eye guzzling delights.
In American & British English & Spanish & Swiss German.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White