Francis Ford Coppola: The '90s/'00s
The Godfather: Part III
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Youth Without Youth (January 11/08)
Francis Ford Coppola's first directorial effort in a decade, Youth Without Youth is nothing less than a complete mess that often resembles an arty student film. The entirely nonsensical storyline - which has something to do with an elderly professor (Tim Roth's Dominic) who is struck by lightening and mysteriously transformed into his youthful self - has been infused with an impenetrable, downright experimental vibe that proves disastrous, and there quickly reaches a point at which the viewer starts to crave anything even resembling exposition. And while one initially feels obligated to indulge the filmmaker in his efforts to spin an admittedly innovative yarn, Coppola's stubborn refusal to even temporarily fall back on conventional elements is both baffling and maddening. There's consequently little doubt that the film's few positive attributes - including cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr's lush visuals and Roth's dogged attempts at breathing life into a virtually unplayable role - are rendered moot by the relentlessly abstruse nature of Coppola's script, and Youth Without Youth ultimately comes off as an utterly misguided effort from a filmmaker who's clearly lost his way.