MPAA Rating: R
Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Starring: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz
Runtime: 1 hr 58 mins
What It Is: On holiday with his daughter Lena (Weisz) and film director best friend Mick Boyle (Keitel) retired concert orchestra conductor Fred Ballinger (Caine) are living and learning as the two long-time friends enter their twilight years. While vacationing Fred receives an invite to play a concert for Queen Elizabeth II for Philips birthday. Likewise, Lena’s husband, who just so happens to be Mick’s son has decided to divorce her. This obviously shakes her in a very negative way. Lastly, the whole retreat has become a media mealstrom due to retired professional footballer Diego Maradona is staying there.
What We Think: Much like La Grande Bellezza Sorrentino crafts a masterful yarn. Not only is this a great character study, but it features an ending that will tug slightly at your being. I had gotten used to Michael Caine picking up paychecks, but here he totally gets it. Keitel also does a fantastic job in a role that is unique when put up against most of his fodder. There is a lot to like here Should it still qualify it’d be interesting if Sorrentino can add another Oscar to his mantle.
Our Grade: B+, This is a quality film that brings both intriguing storytelling and an overall fun. This isn’t the sort of fun you get from a comedy or the like, but it is instead a sort of very European amusement about the whole thing. Sorrentino is on a hot streak right now. I am going to go ahead and recommend this to everyone. Now this isn’t a film everyone will immediately enjoy and that can a possibility due to the slower pacing Sorrentino tends to take. Two in a row Paolo, I look forward to your next project signore.