In my last review (Brooklyn) I posed a question: Who says size matters? I was referencing a small film with a huge heart. Here in Youth, the latest opus from Paolo Sorrentino, we have a film on a grand scale, a big film but without a heart.
Sorrentino, as he did in his last film, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), once again riffs on his favorite themes: Age and the Hollowness and Emptiness of Success.
Here, Michael Caine plays a retired composer and symphony conductor Fred Ballinger, and Harvey Keitel plays his best bud,
Mick Boyle, a famous Hollywood film director. They are set up in one of those elegant Swiss Alpine Hotels/Spas where you’re pampered beyond belief.
This particular time, Ballinger’s daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) has arranged for the trip,
Lena: You’ll be getting the best of care. Sauna, Massage, and daily check ups by the doctors to get you back in shape.
Fred: At my age, getting into shape is a waste of time…
At this time, Lena is also in a relationship with Mick’s son Julian, who is about to walk out of the relationship. Fortunately for Lena, she’s already in a place that can help with depression as well as being good for one’s body.
So Mick and Fred spend their days walking through lush Alpine meadows,