Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Youth / Watch first trailer for new Paolo Sorrentino film with Michael Caine

Youth: watch first trailer for new Paolo Sorrentino film with Michael Caine

Youth sees Caine as an ageing composer with mournful gaze and slicked-back hair in a trailer that comes on like Sorrentino’s previous film, The Great Beauty

Andrew Pulver
Monday 13 April 2015 16.27 BST

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) is a hard act to follow, what with its astonishing central performance from Toni Servillo (both ecstatic and world-weary) and wonderfully rendered images of a sublimely beautiful Rome. But director Paolo Sorrentino has got to try, and the trailer for his latest, Youth (La Giovinezza), has just emerged – shortly before it will, no doubt, appear in the lineup for Cannes (due to be announced on 16 April).


So what do we make of Youth? We know the plot outline involves Michael Caine playing a semi-retired classical composer, and Harvey Keitel as his film-director pal, on holiday in the Alps; and that Caine gets a summons from the Queen of England for a final concert. The trailer majors on Caine, giving it the full Servillo with mournful gaze and slicked-back grey hair. His is the only dialogue we hear: “You are right. Music is all I understand.” We get glimpses of the cast’s other well-known faces: Rachel Weisz (prone, covered in mud); Keitel and lady companion; Paul Dano, with slightly improbable moustache.

But the impression the trailer-cutters want to give – if not Sorrentino himself – is that this is The Great Beauty 2. Rhythmic editing, scored to plaintive choral phrases, announces that we are witnessing great art. Shots of over-the-hill reprobates lounging in pools and gulping oxygen tell us that civilisation – as in TGB – is wobbling, if not in its death-throes. Other shots of lithe young things imply there’s life in the twitching corpse yet.

Whether Caine, and Sorrentino, can carry off these meditations on life and art remains to be seen: Caine’s occasional attempts at playing sensitive heroes have not always convinced, while Sorrentino’s command of English-language cinema has not, so far, been in the same league as his home-turf Italian films. Presumably, Servillo’s lack of serviceable English meant there was no way he could take the role – and it’s a big loss. But if the fates align, and Youth shows at Cannes, we’ll find out soon enough.

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