For the film buffs and art house habitués Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth” will be a welcome Christmas present, and the European Spa locale will appeal to anyone who wants to see what the 1 per center’s do their time off. Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is a retired composer, adamant about his retirement, but The Queen of England is keen on his participation in a Royal event. Will he or won’t he acquiesce is the question here, and his life long friend Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel, miscast here) becomes his steam bath sounding board. Mick is a world famous film director preparing his latest film with a longtime actress muse played with salty vigor by Jane Fonda, who has a wonderful monologue to spice up the proceedings. Rachel Weisz , as Caine’s character’s daughter/manager is dealing with marital problems and Daddy issues and gets the other great monologue. Paul Dano is a young movie star observing his elders, in preparation for his own next film (by the way, he really deserves and Oscar nod for his portrayal of Brian Wilson in this year’s “Love and Mercy”). “Youth” is beautifully shot but will be, I think, too artsy for all but the most devoted film fans. As a Michael Caine (pronounced “My…Cocaine, Cockney style) fan I liked it.
My GPA: 3.5