Paolo Sorrentino (‘Youth’) dishes directing Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel (Exclusive Video)

“I think that in all the movies that I have done, the theme of the passing of time is one of my obsessions,” explains writer/director Paolo Sorrentino during our recent conversation (watch below) about his new film “Youth.” The film, which Fox Searchlight is releasing on December 4, focuses on two lifelong friends: world-famous composer Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and Hollywood film director Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel). They reflect on their pasts and contemplating their futures while vacationing in the Swiss Alps while each deals with a woman on the edge. In the case of Fred it his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) while Mick must massage the ego of actress Brenda Morel (Jane Fonda). 

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For Sorrentino the idea of the film was whether or not the two men could, “live again in youth,” despite their advanced age. The Italian auteur praised the veteran actors for bringing, “the most important things: the nuances. The tenderness of Harvey Keitel and the irony of Michael Caine are all things that maybe were not so important in the script, but they put into the final result of the movie in a great way.”

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Sorrentino readily admits he brought several of his real-life experiences to the part of Mick, a renowned film director struggling with a team of writers to complete his next masterpiece. “The character of Harvey Keitel is pretty close to me,” he said. “Like Mick, I am obsessed by movies, and when I am starting to do a movie I am very excited exactly like he is.”

Sorrentino’s last Italian film, “The Great Beauty” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film in 2013. Do you think he will receive his first ever Oscar nomination as Best Director this year? Make your Oscar predictions above or below beginning with that category and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).

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Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

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