HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
Man from Snowy River, The
Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo
Girl with the Bracelet, The
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  Youth Old Gold
Year: 2015
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Stars: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Alex Macqueen, Roly Serrano, Madalina Diana Ghenea, Paloma Faith, Mark Kozelek, Nate Dern, Alex Beckett, Mark Gessner, Tom Lipinski, Chloe Pirrie, Ed Stoppard, Emilia Jones
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is a world famous composer and conductor, but now he has reached his eighties he is finding those precious memories of a life well-lived are beginning to fade as his mind ebbs away with age. Nevertheless, he is still in as much demand as he ever was, maybe more thanks to his international stature, which is why he is approached while staying at a favourite hotel in the Swiss Alps. Basically, the British Queen herself has requested that Ballinger conduct a performance of his most famous works, early songs that he wrote for his wife to sing, and the emissary (Alex Macqueen) is very keen to secure a confirmation that he will be there so he may also collect his knighthood in the process...

You could tell this was a film made by a non-British writer and director, Paolo Sorrentino in this case, because Queen Elizabeth would be highly unlikely to have made that request personally, it’s not the done thing for a monarch to be ordering people about for her own amusement (that we know of), but it was merely a device to set off the plot which took in the musings over ageing that Michael Caine was a very apt choice for. Though he wasn't known for his musical talents, simply cross out all the times his character's tunes were mentioned and replace them with films, and you had an idea of the baggage he was carrying for this role, which appeared to have been intended as an end of career tribute.

If anyone deserved that, as much for longevity and sheer tenacity as a major movie star for so long, no matter the quality of some of his choices, then Caine was the right man, and though he performed here with a certain reticence, that fed into the persona of a man who has accomplished much but now, near the end of his life, is wondering what he should do now? Should he simply rest on his laurels, or alternatively make the most of every day he has left while he still can and continue to work because he has fans who are always pleased to see him? Who is Ballinger/Caine doing this for, is he being selfish in performing to keep his name out there, or is being magnanimous for extending his career knowing it will be so appreciated?

After all, there is something reassuring about seeing an ageing star, no matter the medium, who can still walk the walk and talk the talk, less "Good grief, are they still alive?!" and more a sense of good cheer and encouragement that it remains possible at their age, whatever it is they're doing. That's assuming what that is still any good, but Caine did not embarrass himself here by any means, indeed his presence enhanced a cast that suffered a little from stunt casting, as while you had him exchanging dialogue with Harvey Keitel as a film director trying to get his latest and possibly last project off the ground which was fair enough and very pleasurable to see two old pros sharing so many scenes, you also had a fat Maradona lookalike pretending to be the footballer, Paloma Faith as herself (and appearing in a pop video/nightmare sequence), famed model Madalina Diana Ghenea taking all her clothes off, and Jane Fonda as an ageing movie star.

So you could see there was a blurring of the lines between reality and fiction, absolutely on purpose from Sorrentino who was keen to show off his visual sense with much artfully arranged imagery within his frame, a technique that looked rather smug at times, while at others managed to succeed in delineating something as profound as he could muster about the point of making your mark in the world when by and by even the most celebrated person would be forgotten in the mists of time. You could counter that by offering there were still famed people from ancient periods who are well known this far into their futures, but then concede that eventually all things must pass, and that nature of ephemera, argued here as the nature of everything from movies to music to physical beauty, was what made it so precious. Which was all fair enough, but there were points here where you would think, is Sorrentino trying to make us wryly laugh, and if so why does Rachel Weisz as Ballinger's daughter suffer so and why is Paul Dano's famous for one role film star put through the wringer also, and handles it pretty badly? There was a lot to unpick here, not all of it rewarding... but enough of it was. Music by David Lang.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1734 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: