Credit: Gianni Fiorito

With 2008’s Il Divo and 2013’s The Great Beauty, playful Italian director Paolo Sorrentino made his homeland’s politics and passions dance to life by mixing pop philosophy and louche sensuality. His latest film, ironically titled Youth, is a meditation on aging set at a luxury spa in the Swiss Alps (not too far, one suspects, from Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel—or at least the latest Ricola commercial ). The guests are a menagerie of the superrich, the supremely washed-up, and the spiritually questing, including Michael Caine’s retired British composer and his old pal, a fading American movie director played by Harvey Keitel. It’s hard to imagine a universe in which Caine and Keitel are best friends, yet they have a frisky, undeniable chemistry. Their scenes are magic. But for every touching moment, there’s another featuring some broad fringe character that seems to waltz in from an entirely different movie (like Jane Fonda’s cameo, which lands with a campy thud). As it is, Youth is hit-and-miss, beautiful and frustrating. B–

2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 124 minutes