Famous composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and film director Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) are staying at a luxury resort in Switzerland; they are friends, but their opinions on how to spend the twilight years differ… Paolo Sorrentino followed his celebrated international breakthrough, The Great Beauty (2013), with an English-language meditation on old age and what it does to a person. In examining the composer’s and the director’s different approaches to their creative careers and colorful past, Sorrentino relies on images and audio that form a beautiful and poetic whole. Not everything he throws at a wall sticks, but magnificent performances by Caine, Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda (in a small role).
2015-Italy. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Carlotta Calori, Francesca Cima, Nicola Giuliano. Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Cinematography: Luca Bigazzi. Music, Song: David Lang (“Simple Song #3”). Cast: Michael Caine (Fred Ballinger), Harvey Keitel (Mick Boyle), Rachel Weisz (Lena Ballinger), Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Alex Macqueen.
Trivia: Pop artist Paloma Faith plays herself.
European Film Awards: Best Film, Director, Actor (Caine).
Last word: “In reality, it was Michael Caine who came up with the idea for the film: I wouldn’t have made it if it hadn’t been for him; he has charisma, class and an elegance that are rarely found in actors of a certain age. There’s nothing wrong with non-British directors shooting in English. The new generations have a cultural benchmark that does not stem exclusively from their own country. Conversely, I think it’s passé to make comparisons between the Italian directors of yesterday and today.” (Sorrentino, Cineuropa)