YOUTH

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

Di­rec­tor: Paolo Sor­rentino (The Great Beauty) Star­ring: Michael Caine, Har­vey Kei­tel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Paloma Faith Ver­dict: Age is just a num­ber that never adds up

LOOK­ING for a film this sum­mer that is warm, wise, serenely calm­ing and com­pletely at odds with any­thing else you have seen this past year?

Then throw your arms around Youth as soon as you can. And do not let go.

Though a ten­derly re­flec­tive tone is very care­fully sus­tained through­out Youth, this be­guil­ing mood piece is also puls­ing with a rest­less en­ergy that will keep view­ers en­gaged and alert.

The prin­ci­pal set­ting is an ex­clu­sive ho­tel spa in a re­mote re­gion of the Swiss Alps, a starkly de­signed, yet highly at­mo­spheric ar­chi­tec­tural marvel which is home to two old friends.

The first is Fred Bellinger (Michael Caine), an ac­claimed orchestra con­duc­tor un­will­ing to share his rare mu­si­cal gift with the world any longer. Fred is what you would call an out-and-proud recluse.

He still en­ter­tains lu­cra­tive of­fers from all over the globe – the Queen and Prince Philip want him for the next knees-up at Buck­ing­ham Palace – and re­mains ap­proach­able to a fault for any fans and ad­mir­ers who wish to pay their re­spects.

So why the silent treat­ment when it comes to mu­sic? Fred has his rea­sons. He will let you in on a very pri­vate se­cret in good time.

Fred’s clos­est con­fi­dante is Mick Boyle (Har­vey Kei­tel), a wily vet­eran film di­rec­tor still de­ter­mined to make one last de­fin­i­tive screen state­ment.

Mick and Fred are not the kind of friends who fin­ish each other’s sen­tences. They are the kind of friends who have reached that depth of un­der­stand­ing where there is so much more to be gleaned from what has not been (and may never be) said.

If you fell un­der the spell of the sublime Ital­ian Os­car-win­ner The Great Beauty a few sum­mers ago, then the news Youth hails from that film’s writer-di­rec­tor Paolo Sor­rentino will be all the en­cour­age­ment needed to love and cher­ish his lat­est work.

As for Caine (is he really 82?) and Kei­tel (a wel­come re­turn from a lengthy ab­sence), both will leave you wish­ing you may see out your own twi­light years with a true life­long friend at your side.

Rachel Weisz co-stars.

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