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May 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

At a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where his latest movie Youth was screened on Wednesday, veteran actor Michael Caine, 82, quipped: “I came to Cannes 50 years ago with a movie called Alfie. Alfie won a prize and I didn’t, so I never came back. I’m not going all that way for nothing.” Caine may not be going home empty-handed this year. Youth, in which he costars with Harvey Keitel, 76 (with a movie-stealing cameo by Jane Fonda, 77), was greeted with cheers after its press screening. (A few writers detected boos mixed in with the cheers, but what they probably heard was an arcane strain of music played over the closing credits.) And critics lavished praise on all of them, as well as the Italian director, Paolo Sorrentino. Caine, wrote Kaleem Aftab in the London Independent, “gives his best performance in decades. He could well win an Oscar.” Keitel, commented Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter, “has clearly been rejuvenated by the best part he’s had in a long time; he’s alive to the occasion at hand and to the opportunities of every scene.” “Fonda’s brief turn is indelible,” Jay Weissberg remarked in Variety. A few critics, however, agreed that the film, as good as it is, could have been better. Robbie Collin in the London Telegraph called it “gorgeous but chilly.” Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian observed that Youth amounts to “a diverting, minor work” by Sorrentino. “I am already looking forward to another more substantial Sorrentino film, though there is pathos here, and sweetness,” he wrote. But David Sexton in the London Evening Standard concluded: “Youth makes nearly all the other contenders for the Palme d’Or this year seem to lack conviction.”