Image from: Youth (2015)

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Reviewed by DelphineM FR / Joined DelphineM 2014
Italy, Switzerland, 2015, 118 minutes Drama, Music
Two years after LA GRANDE BELLEZZA, Paolo Sorrentino switches back to an English-language film (after THIS MUST BE THE PLACE), and he is also back in Cannes.
YOUTH is set in a resort in the Alps, where Fred and Mick, two old friends, reflect on their past life and current events, through the eyes of relatives and strangers visiting the hotel.
Two things stand out from the film: first of all, Michael Caine’s best performance in years. I am still convinced he was second in line to win for Best Actor at the 68th Cannes film festival. His performance is subtle and humble but still strong and full of emotions. The use of music and soundtrack is the second aspect that makes YOUTH deserve his selection in competition. From classical to mainstream pop, the score truly is a full member of the cast, navigating between the characters from different generations. Adding a special mention to the impeccable cinematography by Luca Bigazzi, who has been working with Sorrentino for years, YOUTH is a tender and well-directed film… but not without a few cracks along the way. Unfortunately, all characters encountered don’t have the depth or the relevance of Michael Caine’s: Harvey Keitel seems a little too pretentious, Jane Fonda’s appearance is disappointing (except the brief but dramatic nervous breakdown on the plane) and Miss Universe falls under the ultimate cliché of beauty and youth.
Be that as it may, YOUTH remains a dazzling portrait about identity and memories, with a delicate sense of humour.
Not for me
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