Youth sees Caine as an ageing composer with mournful gaze and slicked-back hair in a trailer that comes on like Sorrentino’s previous film, The Great Beauty
So what do we make of Youth? We know the plot outline involves Michael Caine playing a semi-retired classical composer, and Harvey Keitel as his film-director pal, on holiday in the Alps; and that Caine gets a summons from the Queen of England for a final concert. The trailer majors on Caine, giving it the full Servillo with mournful gaze and slicked-back grey hair. His is the only dialogue we hear: “You are right. Music is all I understand.” We get glimpses of the cast’s other well-known faces: Rachel Weisz (prone, covered in mud); Keitel and lady companion; Paul Dano, with slightly improbable moustache.
But the impression the trailer-cutters want to give – if not Sorrentino himself – is that this is The Great Beauty 2. Rhythmic editing, scored to plaintive choral phrases, announces that we are witnessing great art. Shots of over-the-hill reprobates lounging in pools and gulping oxygen tell us that civilisation – as in TGB – is wobbling, if not in its death-throes. Other shots of lithe young things imply there’s life in the twitching corpse yet.
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