(Originally appeared in EXBERLINER on Nov. 26, 2015)
Booed at its Cannes premiere, the movie does err on the side of pretentiousness from time to time. Its foray into full-out dramatic territory, especially, backfires with a whiff of new-agey faux-profundity. But by and large, the brilliantly-seasoned performances and Sorrentino’s impeccable taste still lift the fabulous-looking and -sounding picture to a place of artistic, stylistic grandeur.
Ever the classic thespian, Caine brings his trademark impenetrable composure to the screen, adding mystique and just a hint of cruelty to this amicably detached character. Keitel is on fire here, delivering one perfect wisecrack after another like nobody’s business. In a cameo appearance, Jane Fonda also delights as a magnificently wrinkled, furiously bitter diva from the past. It’s a joy to watch actors of this caliber do what comes so naturally to them. You only wish all that acting showcase framed within such downright erotic visual yumminess could have culminated in a note that actually reverberates, instead of this piercing but rather forced falsetto.