Paolo Sorrentino (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
In his early 80s, Michael Caine makes the first and possibly only true art house movie of his career, starring here as Fred Ballinger, a veteran conductor on holiday at an Alpine health spa. Ballinger is being pursued by an emissary from Buckingham Palace: the Queen would like Ballinger to come out of retirement for one last performance, but the musician refuses, citing personal reasons. From here, the film becomes a surreal and at times even psychedelic study of Ballinger's life as he is confronted by his past - in the shape of his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) and film-maker best friend Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) - while making acidic observations about the present. Caine makes hay with a soulful role that brings his playful, world-weary charm to the fore, but this is really a playground for Italian maestro Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), whose ear for music is quite extraordinary and whose visual genius effortlessly takes us from the absurd to the profound.


Premiere. Retired composer Fred takes a holiday in the Alps with his lifelong friend, writer and director Mick. Fred is determined to turn his back on music, despite the entreaties of his daughter and a request from the Queen, but Mick is determined to complete one last screenplay, in honour of a woman who inspired him. Comedy drama, starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda.

Cast & Crew

Fred Ballinger Michael Caine
Mick Boyle Harvey Keitel
Lena Ballinger Rachel Weisz
Jimmy Tree Paul Dano
Brenda Morel Jane Fonda
Julian Ed Stoppard
Miss Universe Madalina Ghenea
Paloma Faith Paloma Faith
Queen's emissary Alex MacQueen
Director Paolo Sorrentino
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes, nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 29 Jan 2016
Drama Comedy