ROME – Michael Caine and Paolo Sorrentino will kick off the Oscar campaign for Sorrentino’s “Youth” at the American Film Institute’s AFI fest by introducing the tender reflection on old age that just swept the European Film Award Nominations, ahead of its upcoming release via Fox Searchlight in the U.S.
Caine in “Youth” plays a retired orchestra conductor contemplating the indignities of old age and the trappings of celebrity while staying at a luxurious Swiss mountain resort. Pic on Saturday scored EFA nominations in all five top categories — Best European Film, Director, Screenwriter, Actor (Michael Caine) and Actress (Rachel Weisz).
Fox Searchlight is releasing Sorrentino’s English-language follow-up to 2014 Foreign Language Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty” on December 4. It also stars Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Jane Fonda. The screening will be on November 11 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
The gala AFI screening is timed to precede the Cinema Italian Style showcase of contemporary Italian cinema, being held at the Egyptian and Aereo theatres, that will subsequently launch the Oscar campaign for gritty drama “Don’t Be Bad,” which is Italy’s candidate film for this year’s foreign-language Academy Award, directed by deceased helmer Claudio Caligari. Italo A-list actor Valerio Mastandrea, who shepherded this Pasolini-esque look at contempo low life on Rome’s outskirts will be on hand.
“Don’t Be Bad” is set in the 1990s world of synthetic drugs, cocaine, fast cars and nightclubs. Pic produced by Kimerafilm, TaoDue Film, Rai Cinema, and Andrea Leone Films bowed in Venice.
Other high-profile titles set to unspool during the Nov. 12-16 Italo showcase include Marco Bellocchio’s modern-day vampire tale “Blood of My Blood,” Laura Bispuri’s transgender study “Sworn Virgin,” and Jonas Carpignano’s migrant drama “Mediterranea.”
The closer will be Nanni Moretti’s semi-autobiographical comedy/drama “My Mother,”which Moretti will introduce with John Turturro, who in the film plays a primadonna-ish American actor. Pic, which was well-received in Cannes, toplines Italo actress Margherita Buy who plays Moretti’s alter-ego, a film director contending with an ailing mother and other crises. Moretti himself plays the director’s brother.
The Cinema Italian Style showcase, which also comprises standout docus, will segue to the Seattle International Film Festival.