By Liz Lopez
Youth – when you are in the midst of it, you know and see nothing else except what appeals to you at that very moment, with nary a thought of what is just up the road in your journey in life. For some, it may not be until the age to qualify for AARP, to start thinking of retirement and what has become of your life and how you have spent your youth. If you are aware that you are aging or at the stage of “where did my life go?” then writer/director Paolo Sorrentino’s feature film, Youth, may make plenty of sense of the melancholy that is surfacing and that it is universal, since we all age, period. A film about aging may not sell out tickets weeks in advance like another action film, but the audience will be there considering the amount of baby boomers in the nation.
Two artists who are now in their twilight years, a prominent composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and a filmmaker Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel), are at a Swiss resort and find themselves facing different challenges and reminiscing when they were young. It is a serious, quiet film, and then there are a few scenes that might make you laugh out loud. Just like life itself. The performances by these two leads are great, along with the jolt brought on by Jane Fonda as Brenda Morel, a Hollywood star and past flame of Boyle who is trying to make a final film. She’s cool!
Ballinger has his peacefulness disrupted when his daughter, Lena (Rachel Weisz) is being dumped by her husband (son to Mick) and the constant requests by the British royal family to perform again. Mick can’t seem to get it together for the film and both share their time with a movie star, Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano), who is also staying at the resort.
Youth has the gorgeous vistas and beautiful naked women, including a recent Miss Universe (Madalina Ghenea) who becomes a guest at the resort and has no problem disrobing at the pool or spa. A rock climber pursues Lena while she is recovering from her new break up from her hubby, and other aging guests have sexual escapades while taking a hike.
Youth is rated R and has a running time of 2 hours and 4 minutes. This film was a Marquee Feature at the Austin Film Festival this year, with a screening at the Paramount Theater in early November.