YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH
Nonsensical Metaphysical Hodgepodge
Release Date: December 14, 2007
Starring: Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara
and Bruno Ganz
Runtime: 128 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Executive Producer: Anahid Nazarian and Fred Roos
Producer: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
In 1938, a despondent professor Matei, having never completed his life’s work, sets out to commit suicide. Then, fate intervenes, and he is struck by lightning. As he lies in a hospital in Bucharest recovering, the doctors are astonished to see that his youth is returning. His new apparent immortality as well as his unexplainable, highly evolved intellect, attracts the attention of the Nazis. He is then forced into exile.
While in exile, he finds his psycho-kinetic abilities increasing as he can absorb books by simply passing them in front of his eyes as well as moving objects with his mind. As he stays on the run from the Nazis, he meets a young woman, Veronica, who becomes a vessel for reincarnated souls. Her para-medium episodes continue to take her further back into time, allowing professor Matei to study the origins of ancient languages. Veronica’s soul migrations, however, take their toll on her physically, and Matei is forced to choose between his love for Veronica and his life’s work of finding the world’s proto-language.
Although beautifully photographed, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH is a strange, tedious journey that, in the true spirit of pagan syncretism, tries to heap together and explain way too many complex spiritual, religious and historical elements in a slipshod, metaphysical, jumbled attempt at creativity.
On a positive note, Tim Roth, in every character he portrays, always delivers a rich interpretation that illustrates his credibility as a performer and shows his great care in handling his roles. His turn as Professor Matei is no different. Simply put, he shines. That said, not even Roth’s brilliant performance could pull this movie out of the mire in which it finds itself.
Coppola, through the years, has gained a reputation as being one of the truly great filmmakers of modern moviemaking, but this movie, although pretty to watch, falls far short of genius.
The movie’s strange story, coupled with major instances of false religion, mixed humanist elements and some sexuality and nudity make YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH a movie on which most audiences will choose to not waste their youth or their time.
Though beautifully photographed and acted by Tim Roth, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH is a tedious journey. In the true spirit of pagan syncretism, the movie tries to heap together and explain way too many complex spiritual, religious and historical elements, in a slipshod, metaphysical, jumbled attempt at creativity. Despite some positive Christian, biblical elements, the movie contains major instances of false religion, mixed humanist elements, some sexual content, and explicit nudity.