In 'Youth' (***), veteran hall of famers Michael Cain and Harvey Keitel bring a certain magic and luster to a movie that could have easily degenerated into parody and the typical Hollywood drivel.
Two of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and legendary actors bring a certain magical enchantment to Youth (***) that causes the film to rise above the drivel normally put out by Hollywood when a film is dealing with the struggles of retirement, old age and regret.
It is a drama concerning two friends who are reaching the end of a long road with regard to their careers. It has the exotic locale of Switzerland plus a small dash of the off beat and contains interwoven story lines that gets to the depth of their situation, according to USA Today. While many other characters and story lines hover and flit about them, it is Keitel and Caine who dramatically propel the story forward.
Caine is a world famous composer while his buddy Keitel is a renowned film maker and both are entering the dusk of their lives and famous careers. Caine has written one of the most memorable songs of all time but he is determined to retire. He walks buy a young boy playing his song on a violin and he is, sadly, reminded of his wife.
Keitel, on the other hand, has nearly completed what he considers to be his masterpiece and looks forward to riding out of Hollywood on an upbeat and acclaimed note. He does, however, have a muse played by Jane Fonda, who just seems to not be all that onboard with his masterpiece.
Caine had a grown daughter played by Rachel Weisz who is his assistant and who lovingly looks out for him. This despite her painful backstory of unresolved issues from childhood with her father and a philandering pop star husband played by Paul Dano. Dano is trying to resurrect a popular image from his own youth but no one really seems to want to buy into it.
The backdrop is a most unusual resort in the Alps replete with off beat entertainers and beautiful yoga instructors. The chemistry between Keitel and Caine is so overwhelmingly magical that it is a physical force of its own. Despite the involved and dramatic side tales, it is Keitel and Caine who carry the film on their capable and skillful shoulders. The pair miss one another when they are off on their own excursions and Fonda’s scene with Keitel makes one remember the daring magic of Sunset Boulevard.
This is a film that truly demonstrates the abilities of two Hollywood legends who more than prove, once again, that they are still among the greatest actors off all time.
**** A Great Film. A Must See.
*** Very Good. Well worth your precious time and hard earned money.
** OK but could have been better. See it if your in the mood for a film.
* Don’t Bother. Not worth your precious time or your hard earned money. Go outside and play instead.