Writer/Director Paolo Sorrentino, who brought us last year’s Best Foreign Film The Great Beauty, now, provides an utterly engaging English language work, Youth.
The story takes place in a Swiss Alpine spa/clinic where a retired composer (Michael Caine), his daughter/assistant (Rachel Weisz) an aging movie director (Harvey Keitel) and a young movie star (Paul Dano) are among the summer guests.
Though each has his or her own drama, the focus is on the composer’s reluctance to come out of retirement for a command performance in front of the Royal Family.
But, our principal interest is not on the words, but, the fantastic images captured by Cinematographer Luca Bigazzi and, as Caine’s character stresses, the music, which, he says, needs not words but feelings and, here, has been so beautifully composed and selected by David Lang. It’s truly the best soundtrack of the year.
This is one of those films one needs to see again to appreciate its richness and fully understand both the point of the story given to Dano's character by a young girl (Emilia Jones) and the meaning of the title. I can’t wait for a return visit.
I give Youth a 4.8 out of 5.