The film “Youth” (La giovinezza) by the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is a reflection of the deep crisis in Italian cinema. After the golden age of Italian cinema in the 1960s the crisis started and became inescapable.
Director Sorrentino tells the story of two close friends vacationing in a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. One is a composer played by Michael Caine another is a filmmaker played by Harvey Keitel. Michael Caine plays his role well as usual and is the only reason why the film is remotely watchable.
Otherwise the film is dull, pretentious and lacks any new or interesting ideas. The cinematography was bland and unoriginal. The music was surprisingly awful considering this is a film about a famous and beloved composer.
The product placement for Microsoft Kinect was shameless, annoying and resembled a parody. The film had a positive critical response, however it is not a masterpiece, just utterly forgettable.
The film is just another imitation of Fellini in the same way as “The Great Beauty” (La grande bellezza) but “The Great Beauty” at least was not so flat out boring and monotonous.
It is time for the directors to stop stealing from the great masters and to their find own unique style and to produce new ideas and the film jurors should not encourage plagiarism either.
“Youth” can only be recommended as a sleeping aid.