Some may say Paolo Sorrentino earned an Oscar for his gorgeous 2013 film The Great Beauty because it’s a magical, often beguiling film about the ephemeral nature of life, replete with fanatically composed images and a wonderful marriage of sight and sound. But we all know he really earned it for managing to make old people dancing to dubstep seem somehow cool. The upcoming Youth, purportedly set to debut at Cannes, looks like another rhythmic, elusive effort from the Italian auteur.
“You were right,” Michael Caine intones in the first trailer, “Music is all I know.” We see Caine crinkling a candy wrapper in a syncopated beat while Sorrentino’s omnipresent god’s-eye camera sets its gaze on an orchestra, people catching some rays, a man breathing deeply into an oxygen apparatus. Soon ethereal faces glow in the dark while a Gregorian chorus chants, “Just your voice.” The rest of the cast includes Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Harvey Keitel. According to the Film Stage, the story follows a long-retired composer-conductor (Caine) and a still-working filmmaker (Keitel) who, upon considering their mortality, decide to take a vacation together. The idea of Caine and Keitel doing a sort of erudite Trip to Italy is already enticing, but delivered via Sorrentino’s inimitable style, this could be something special.