You have got to be a real asshole director to congregate so many high caliber actors, only to have them play a bunch of narcissistic one percenters convalescing from their neuroses in a lavish mountain resort.
Youth is set in the Swiss Alps, in a Grand Budapest Hotel for a bunch of bored celebrities. There, silverscreen dinosaurs Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, along with Rachel Weisz and Paul Dano, are loitering by the pool and in the dining hall while spouting meaningless aphorisms and indulging in their first world problems.
Believe it or not, this self-indulgent drivel could almost be bearable, if it wasn’t for the film’s latent misogyny: female characters are but mere accessories to the “ingenious” men. Rachel Weisz, for example, has the great fortune of playing an empowered female character with two jobs: “I’m both a daughter and an assistant to my father.” No wonder she has huge daddy issues and has to be saved by a bearded mountaineer. Meanwhile, daddy gets sexy massages from an underage looking girl with braces. The director’s lack of awareness is astonishing. And this isn’t even a Woody Allen movie! I tuned out entirely when Paul Dano showed up dressed as Hitler (you can’t make this shit up!).
If Youth is meant as a portrait of a dying generation, all I can say is: good riddance!
One star for a nice selection of music.