If memory serves me right, the last time I felt this way about a movie was when I had just finished watching The Place Beyond the Pines. That movie, a triptych, was near perfect until it’s final third, in which it tried too hard to resemble an ancient Greek tragedy and failed, almost ruining what was until that point a very engrossing story.
And here I am, three years later, feeling the same way about Youth.
Because truly great films are hard to come by, I feel like I should just sing this movie praises, and count myself fortunate. But I think that the fault I found with this movie only serves to strengthen the parts that do work. And believe me, there are some incredible stretches of film.
Actually, about an hour into it I was convinced I was watching another The Great Beauty, the superb Italian drama that I consider one of the best I’ve ever seen.
That film was 150 minutes long, including the credits, which is a 7 minute long visual tour of a canal while a choir plays in the background. Every one of those seconds was vital.
In Youth, I think Paolo Sorrentino could have done without the last 10-15 minutes. There are about 3 separate instances in which he could have ended the film, but it keeps going, which sadly diminishes everything that came before it.