The stunning opening images of Oscar®-winning (The Great Beauty
) director Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth
set the tone for indelible reflections on wisdom, art, and mortality, expressed through a longtime friendship between Fred (Michael Caine), a retired composer, and film director Mick (Harvey Keitel). Fred is offered a knighthood on condition he conduct his signature work, Simple Songs
, for the Queen. He refuses, for personal reasons. Mick works on what may be his last “big” screenplay, pinning his hopes for financing on the participation of Hollywood legend Brenda Morel (a startling, take-no-prisoners performance by Jane Fonda). Meanwhile, Lena (Rachel Weisz), Fred’s daughter, has discovered her husband is leaving her for pop singer Paloma Faith (played, in a Sorrentino-esque touch of whimsy, by Faith herself). Against the backdrop of an opulent Swiss spa peopled by a cast of colorful inhabitants, Youth
is sensual and rich, whimsical and tender, engrossing to its final coda.
Co-presented by Italian Cultural Institute