Saturday, December 10, 2016
Written & Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino
Cinematography By: Luca Bigazzi
Editor: Christiano Travaglioli
Production Design: Ludovica Ferrario
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Michael Caine, Paul Dano, Rachel Weisz, Jane Fonda, Madelina Diana Ghenea, Chloe Pirrie
Fred and Mick, two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children's confused lives, Mick's enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again.
The film while grand in it's scope. Really seems to be all about nothing. There are a bunch of stories at heart, but all seem like they could only be told in a grand manner. As that seems the only way for them to make sense it be understandable to a degree. As if told in any other manner would make them too normal. So told this way as to distract the audience with the beauty of the background and the characters surrounding the main cast.
The film is shot beautifully but never feels like it even engages and stays vague to a degree. Like it's characters and the title it all seems more about surface instead of digging deep. Which the seems to want to expose. It seems like a movie that has the looks but is in search of itself and meaning.
It should be expected from the director of the film THE GREAT BEAUTY. As this covers similar themes, but that film allowed you to lose yourself in The beauty and was more focused as it seemed to stay on one lead character and not an ensemble.
The film wants to feel it like an opera with many miniature intimate stories with many characters that all connect in different ways. Through let's you know which ones are the stars amongst the hodge podge of acting greats.
The film sadly only seems to come alive when Jane Fonda is on the screen. She comes in and gives the movie some energy and fun. As she seems to electrify her scenes. As she puts vitality into the film. Sadly she is only in a few scenes. She is In and out so fast that you miss her. Her character gets a comeuppance that seems unnatural and outlandish but fair as far as morals are concerned. With no build up it seems random or more like wish fulfillment. It also feels unnecessarily over the top. Though perfectly fits the film.
The film offers plenty of practical philosophy. That is supposed to be insightful but feels more full of itself. Though some scenes are generally touching. So it's not a disaster.
One of the better aspects of the film is that things tend not to linger. Any problem or difficulty is usually quickly addressed and dealt with so onto the new or next one. As well as being surprising as at times. Scenes not characters motives go where you expect them to. They try to pull the rugs out from under you, but aren't as shocking as they think they are. It might also be with the international lazy attitude.
That makes anything risqué more subtle and accepted.
The film actually ends up being more tame. Like it's characters who end up taking it's time it has earned it just to bask and study details surrounding them and it. It seems to be in the spirit of a Federico Fellini film. Though majorly toned down, but almost every shot seems so beautiful it could be a painting.
Though it’s a shame as the film feels like while it gets distracted in it’s beauty that it drops the ball doing something with it’s premise that would feel more substantial and impressive.
It's good to have is take in details and atmosphere as it all ends up meaning something. Even as just a lead up to Later events, but ends up making them feel more grand and important.
The film feels bigger than it needs to be. While taking on a measure of beauty and age.
The film feels like a man used to big budgets but not necessarily blockbusters. Trying To make an intimate story. As director Paolo Sorrentino definitely has an eye and can get great performances, but leaves the audience lacking In telling a story or stories here