Cinema Movie Review: Youth (2015)

largeAgeing poorly

They say that youth is wasted on the young; I say retirement is wasted on the old. No, I don’t really mean it – other than for myself, of course. In general terms, I mean that people develop a strong work ethic after slogging for many years and they have difficulty retiring. I would like to front-load my retirement and do it now, before it’s too late and my work ethic has been totally and irrevocably formed.

Which brings me to Youth (2015), a film by Paolo Sorrentino. It is about a retired composer and an unwilling-to-retire film director. I had never heard of the director Sorrentino, but had been very tempted – at least by the trailer – by La grande bellezza (2013), but I didn’t get round to seeing it. Have to say that, unless I hear to the contrary, I am really glad I didn’t bother going. Drawing links between a trailer of one film and another full film may seem unfair. Nevertheless, I was impressed by both the cinematography, the beautiful landscapes and what seemed to be a story outside the normal run-of-the-mill. Those benefits aside, I have to say that Youth is truly a very bad film.

It pains me to write this, but not quite as much as it pained me to sit through it – Youth is a very, very bad film (sorry, I may have already mentioned this). I was also a little flabbergasted and disappointed that the cast had signed up for it. For goodness sake, this film had Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and a few others including Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda, FFS. How on earth were they persuaded to turn up for this gig? I imagine they all fancied a bit of a holiday in the Swiss Alps. At the beginning I thought this is going to be great, but it wasn’t. A particular low point was the appearance of singer Paloma Faith, who was there as herself – I had to look her up afterwards and find out who she is and, regrettably, she wasn’t misrepresenting herself.

I could tell you a bit about the story…but honestly, I really can’t be bothered, it was so unbelievably dull. I heartily recommend that anyone who admires and respects the afore-mentioned actors avoids this film.

118 mins.

European Film Awards 2013

efa-press-releaseThe more than 2,900 members of the European Film Academy – filmmakers from across Europe – have voted for this year’s European Film Awards. At the awards ceremony in Berlin on 7 December, the following awards were presented:

EUROPEAN FILM
La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
Italy/France, 140 mins
DIRECTED BY: Paolo Sorrentino
WRITTEN BY: Paolo Sorrentino and Umberto Contarello
PRODUCED BY: Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima

EUROPEAN COMEDY
Den Skaldede Frisor (Love Is All You Need)
Denmark, 111 mins
DIRECTED BY: Susanne Bier
WRITTEN BY: Anders Thomas Jensen and Susanne Bier
PRODUCED BY: Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Vibeke Windeløv

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR
Paolo Sorrentino for La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)

EUROPEAN ACTRESS 
Veerle Baetens in The Broken Circle Breakdown

EUROPEAN ACTOR
Toni Servillo in La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER
François Ozon for Dans la Maison (In the House)

EUROPEAN ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
The Congress

Israel/Germany/Poland/Luxembourg/France/Belgium, 120 min
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Ari Folman
ANIMATION: Yoni Goodman

EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY
The Act of Killing
Denmark/Norway/UK, 159 mins
DIRECTED BY: Joshua Oppenheimer
PRODUCED BY: Signe Byrge Sørensen

EUROPEAN DISCOVERY – Prix FIPRESCI
Oh Boy!
Germany, 83 mins
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY: Jan Ole Gerster
PRODUCED BY: Marcos Kantis and Alexander Wadouh

EUROPEAN SHORT FILM
Dood Van Een Schaduw (Death of a Shadow)
DIRECTED BY: Tom Van Avermaet
Belgium/France
2012, 20 mins, fiction

EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER – Prix CARLO DI PALMA 
Asaf Sudry for Lemale et Ha’Halal – Fill The Void
Israel

EUROPEAN EDITOR 
Cristiano Travaglioli for La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
Italy/France

EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 
Sarah Greenwood for Anna Karenina
UK

EUROPEAN COSTUME DESIGNER 
Paco Delgado for Blancanieves
Spain/France

EUROPEAN COMPOSER 
Ennio Morricone for The Best Offer
Italy

EUROPEAN SOUND DESIGNER 
Matz Müller & Erik Mischijew for Paradies: Glaube (Paradise: Faith)
Austria/Germany/France

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 
Catherine Deneuve

EUROPEAN ACHIEVEMENT IN WORLD CINEMA 
Pedro Almodóvar

EUROPEAN CO-PRODUCTION AWARD– Prix EURIMAGES 
Ada Solomon

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD for Best European Film
The Gilded Cage
(La Cage Dorée)
Portugal/France, 90 mins
DIRECTED BY: Ruben Alves
WRITTEN: Ruben Alves, Jean-André Yerlès, Hugo Gélin

The European Film Awards 2013 are presented by the European Film Academy e.V. and EFA Productions gGmbH. Public supporters: FFA German Federal Film Board, German State Lottery Berlin, German State Minister for Culture and the Media, MEDIA Programme of the EU, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Private partners: 40seconds, Alois Dallmayr Gastro-Service GmbH & Co KG, Aveda, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, GLS, Hôtel Concorde Berlin, M∙A∙C, Mast-Jägermeister SE and ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland GmbH.