The fact that Fox Searchlight picked up Paolo Sorrentino’s second English-language effort “Youth” before it screened in Cannes was a tip that the film was both commercially accessible and awards-worthy. The film will now open Friday, December 4, 2015 following a likely Fall festival ramp-up.
Michael Caine is dignified, emotionally vulnerable and sad as a retired and “apathetic” composer and conductor, called “maestro,” who is enjoying submitting to massages, ogling nubile naked women in the spas, and spending time with his daughter (Rachel Weisz), who takes out her anger on her father for being jilted by her husband for a younger pop diva who “is good in bed.”
Maestro also hangs with a young Hollywood star (Paul Dano) who is prepping a role, and his close friend, a movie director (Harvey Keitel) who is conjuring up his latest cinematic “testament” with a group of young collaborators who throw around terrible ideas for how to finish the picture. Also not in love with his script is his favorite movie star (Jane Fonda) who delivers a tour-de-force cameo.
The Academy, especially, will relate to this man’s struggle to come to terms with his work, family and what’s left of his life.
“Youth” presents a double-threat awards opportunity because Sorrentino won the Oscar in 2014 for “The Great Beauty,” and Fox Searchlight reigned as champ of the 2015 Oscars for “Birdman.”