Youth (2015) - Wasted on the Young
| The great Michael Cain and Harvey Keitel are mostly wasted in this overly cliched meditation on aging. Yes we've heard all of these tropes before. I kept waiting for Youth to offer me something interesting, something that didn't feel like a retread, on the subject of growing older. But it never came through. Youth lacked vitality.
The Great Beauty director Paolo Sorrentino paces his film quite slowly but there isn't the drive, the energy to maintain such a plodding pace. As so little happens to the characters as they sit around, having the same old discussions about our obsession with youth, our disregard for the elderly and our lack of appreciation of experience, it is easy to lose focus through Youth and to stop caring about the very subjects we are supposed to appreciate.
Cain, Keitel and Weisz are all mostly wasted in roles that demand very little of their talent. The film however starts to feel like it will come alive when Jane Fonda shows up, storms into the scene and brings the energy that was missing. However he character brings as little to the table in terms of revelation as the rest of the cast. While she ends up being a bright spot in this drama, she can't save it.
I found Youth to be far too simple to captivate, far too slow to entertain and far too predictable to surprise. It's a bit of a slog to get through and, considering the talent involved, quite a disappointment considering all I was hoping for. This meditation of aging misses the wisdom one would expect from the experience of life.