124 min. minutes | Rated R
After such hack-for-hire work as The Rainmaker and, most miserably, Jack, it’s good to see Francis Ford Coppola stoking his creative fires once again. Youth Without Youth, his first film in a decade, is small in scale yet massive in ambition. It’s about scholastic pursuits and obsession and lost love. It’s about time travel, past haunts, and the Nazi menace. Most of all, it’s about Coppola himself. In the 1930s, having already lost one love to his intellectual pursuits, elderly Romanian Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) readies himself for suicide, only to have a freak bolt of lightning jolt him back to his younger years. Though it boasts sharp HD cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. as well as a warm turn from the normally icy Roth, Youth Without Youth amounts to no more than a muddled curiosity. It’s convoluted throughout, but by the latter reels, the film flirts with outright ridiculousness. There’s a lot to admire here, and Coppola remains as visually gifted as ever, but the film remains oddly locked away from its audience.
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