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Wednesday, Dec 9 2015

Paolo Sorrentino's grandYouthis of a piece with his 2013The Great Beauty, but more accessible to those who are not invested in the state of Italian culture. Set entirely at a very expensive-looking spa in the Alps,Youthspends much of its time with three characters: Fred (Michael Caine), a retired composer who refuses constant offers to perform his most famous work for the Queen; Mick (Harvey Keitel), a director writing his next film; and Jimmy (Paul Dano), a youngish movie star trying to escape the typecasting from the sci-fi flicks that made him famous. In its setting and themes,Youthbears some resemblance toClouds of Sils Maria, but it's far less character-driven, functioning more as a lush hangout film, replete with Sorrentino's usual Fellini-esque love of non-sequiturs and full-frontal nudity. (Also, floating. So much floating, and the occasional levitation.) A third-act cameo by Jane Fonda falls flat, but Caine and Keitel have terrific chemistry, and it's hard to believe they've never acted together before. Though his films likeThe Great BeautyandYouthtend to stay put — geographically speaking — Sorrentino still has a knack for framing his constantly lovely images like he's shooting a Cinerama travelogue, and they demand to be seen on as big a screen as possible.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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