Youth – review

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I’ve just got back from watching Youth and I’m stunned. Stunned that Youth managed to match The Great Beauty or even eclipse it. When the dust settles, I’ll know which one I preferred.

Where to begin with Paolo Sorrentino? Sensibility. The man’s sensibility for image, sound and character is amazing. With formal artistic beauty, he paints stunning pictures of life full of melancholy, regret, love, humour and redemption. That is not an exhaustive list. Tip of the iceberg. And despite his formal cinematography and settings, he also manages to blend in lowbrow elements like trashy Europop music and football references. Inserting a fat, aging Diego Maradona into this film was slightly nepotistic but inspired!

Sometimes, Sorrentino’s meandering narratives seem to be connected only by loose threads, but there is never one scene where I question its relevance. The pacing of his films seem to just sit right with me – soaring moments of beauty can be followed by silly humour, then you might be hit with a knockout emotional punch.

And the performances! Michael Caine was phenomenal. I’ve not watched a lot of his films, but I now love the guy. Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel and Paul Dano are ace. All the minor supporting actors were intriguing and well-acted too.

If you’ve seen The Great Beauty and liked it, I think it’s a safe bet you’ll like this one. I loved it! Youth is a beautiful reflection on what it means to get older.

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