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Youth


Quietly involving, sometimes funny and often moving, YOUTH showcases an all-star cast in a beautiful Switzerland setting.

Michael Caine is famed conductor Fred Ballinger, retired and relaxing with his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) at a stunning health spa in the foothills of the Alps.

Also at the spa is his best friend Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) a famed film director hanging out with his writers to finish a script that he is sure will be his film legacy.

An actor hiding from the press and preparing for his next role, Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano) is trying to escape from his most famous role in a pedestrian comedy, wrestling with the fact that no one remembers any of his great films, just the most popular one he did for the money.

Some key folks at the spa also interact with the main players, bringing heartbreak and reality to their roles and teaching the famous guests a thing or two about life.

That being said, this isn't structured like a lightweight, predictable jaunt. It has moments of laughter and more than a few of heavy sadness as characters act and react in ways you don't expect.

Like real life, its jarringly unpredictable.

The cast is superb. Caine and Weisz are terrific together, slowly peeling back the layers of a very complicated father/daughter relationship.

I don't remember Caine ever being this vulnerable and vanity free on screen, he's excellent. Keitel and Dano are both terrific.

Alex Macqueen nearly steals the film as an emissary to Queen Elizabeth, at the spa to talk Fred into coming out of retirement to conduct his most famous composition for a royal gala. We've all seen Macqueen in a ton of British films, but he does stellar work here.

Fred's refusal to accept the invitation drives the narrative and takes you places you don't expect.

Only Jane Fonda seems miscast in a thankless role as a diva actress battling with Keitel.


YOUTH is definitely not wasted on the viewer, with plenty of eclectic music, powerful acting and perfect scenery, its gets a B.

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