Thees first images followed by the teaser left filter a plastic beauty once again remarkable from the part of the aesthete that is Paolo Sorrentino. And once again, this is what jumps out to us from the opening shots of his latest creation (with one exception). The composition of the latter, the precision, the stunning framing, natural sceneries interior is luxuriously trimmed, and the exterior beautifully photographed. If it is true that the beauty of the swiss alps is sufficient in itself, we can already affirm that it is one of the most accomplished and sublime of the competition in the field of photography (also with the boring but mind-boggling beauty The Assassin).
It is therefore at the heart of the alps is the so-called story of YOUTH, which we propose to observe two very old friends, the composer (Michael Caine) and the other a filmmaker (Harvey Keitel), a holiday in a hotel that they know well. He meditate on the life that is behind them and the one that continues to scroll, meeting here and there a gallery of characters, among them very young people, “youth”, lending its title to the film, in English as in Italian. These opposite generations crossing and uncrossing, contribute to enrich the therapy which engage both our old blasé about their fate, while Sorrentino treats us in highlighting the human body. Because in this wealthy hotel, it is not uncommon to enjoy the activities dressed in the most simple device. And I’m not just referring to the poster already cul(te), but also the superb way in which the Italian picks up the body, the more wrinkled and tired, making use of a creative visual little in common. It is thus all the more surprised to attend disconcerted to a sequence quite ugly and despite its pseudo-justification. This is unfortunately not the only faux pas of the film, which reaches its limits quite early, revealing its inequality.
The pitch, a platitude already very worrying, reveals fairly quickly to the near total lack of scenario. Or at least, the absence of a narrative that is coherent and structured telling of a story. Because THE GIOVINEZZA, it is much more than that. This are stories. The history of the characters whimsical and jaded, the history of dialogues tasty and bitter, but also pure moments of cinema highlights. The story of a filmmaker becoming may be more important in spite of the division that he will continue to inspire. When Paolo Sorrentino pulls out his pen, it is for twirling with style, creating situations and encounters in turn hilarious, dreamlike, cruel and even touching. It is injected once again his obsessions, giving food for thought around topics of more or less close to the viewer. One of the main points which he is to reap the scorn of his detractors. Critics who are beginning slowly to return the jacket, to hear the many reactions to hot coming out of the room. Because they were surprised to rediscover the Italian “pretentious” in a more wise and tender. Because beyond the new visual demonstration of know-how, absolute, this new story may be endearing, and more if affinities…
“Sumptuous and crossed wonderful moments of cinema, YOUTH is without a doubt the best film of its author.”
Thus, the monologue’s powerful daughter of Fred (Rachel Weisz) is a jewel of writing, we are learning a handful of seconds much more than any other film of 1h30 about a character. It is very simple, after this plan, it seems to us to have lived this entire life with this old man, whose secrets and excesses are no longer silent. We accept, quite naturally, to continue to follow him with as instantly all was forgiven, the same episodes of his past life that were probably a lot less forgivable. There is also a face-to-face biting between an actress (Jane Fonda) and a filmmaker at the very end of their career, keen to put in the scene again (Harvey Keitel), around the longevity of the profession of the artist. With all the irony of its author, of course.
The second part of the film is a bit half-hearted. The speech starts to turn a little round and round in circles. It is also less surprising and seductive than the first, because a little more verbose, but always crossed by these same illuminations divine, with a special mention to the soundtrack : the musical choices of Sorrentino are always extraordinary diversity, contributing greatly to embellish royally its staging almost perfect. Up to a final sequence of light, touched by grace. In the end, we remember YOUTH , not for its few flaws, but as a moment of modern cinema and released that should probably not leave indifferent the jury.
YOUTH is presented in the official selection, in competition, at the Cannes film Festival 2015.
Our prognosis : YOUTH deserves a prize. One of the jury or even the Grand Prize. But as we are in Cannes, we have the right to dream of the palm also, until Sunday evening at least.
THE OTHER OUTPUTS OF SEPTEMBER 9, 2015