6.3/10
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91 user 129 critic

Youth Without Youth (2007)

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1:59 | Trailer
A love story wrapped in a mystery. Set in World War II Europe, a professor is changed by a cataclysmic event and explores the mysteries of life.

Writers:

Mircea Eliade (novel), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tim Roth ... Dominic Matei
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Veronica / Laura / Rupini
Bruno Ganz ... Prof. Roman Stanciulescu
André Hennicke ... Dr. Josef Rudolf
Marcel Iures ... Prof. Giuseppe Tucci
Alexandra Pirici ... Woman in Room 6
Adrian Pintea ... Pandit
Florin Piersic Jr. ... Dr. Gavrila
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mircea Albulescu ... Davidoglu
Dan Astileanu Dan Astileanu ... Professor (as Dan Astilean)
Cristian Balint Cristian Balint ... Grenzschutz
Dragos Bucur ... Bartender
Zoltan Butuc Zoltan Butuc ... Dr. Chirila
Theodor Danetti ... Dr. Neculache
Andrei Gheorghe ... Taxi Driver
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Storyline

Christmas Eve, 1937, Piatra Neamt, Romania: Dominic Matei, a 70-year-old professor, contemplates suicide. The love of his life is dead, and he remains unable to complete his life's work on the origins of language. On April 24th 1938, Easter Sunday, he takes a train to Bucharest to kill himself, but suddenly he's struck by lightning. After a slow recovery, he miraculously grows younger and gains superhuman powers. WWII breaks out and Romania's fascist dictator Ion Antonescu cooperates with Adolf Hitler. Matei must escape to Switzerland, because Nazi scientists want to use his powers...Some years later, he meets a woman who has her own passage through a lightning storm. Not only does Dominic find love again, but her new abilities hold the key to his research...Coppola's adaptation of Mircea Eliade's surreal novella is a mysterious, romantic, melancholic and humorous journey to the outer limits of space, time and identity. Dreams become reality and reality feels like a dream... Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, nudity and a brief disturbing image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Romania | France | Italy | Germany

Release Date:

26 October 2007 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

L'homme sans âge See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,550, 16 December 2007

Gross USA:

$244,397

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,624,759
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (some shots)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis Ford Coppola was introduced to the novella of Mircea Eliade by the religious scholar Wendy Doniger, a childhood friend of his. See more »

Goofs

The panoramic x ray shown when the teeth of the main character start to change is obviously from a 12 years old person as are clearly visible temporal molars (that are not present in adults) and their adult successors. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dominic: [voice over] Sometimes... I admit to myself that it's possible... I will never be able to finish my life's work. My one and only book. And that in the end... without her... I will be nothing. And I will die alone.
[cries]
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #5.40 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Yo Sin Ti (Me without You)
Composers: Osvaldo Golijov, Arturo Castro
Artists: Bucharest Metropolitan Orchestra, Radu Popa
Kalman Balogh, Cimbalom
Kayhan Kalhor, Kamancheh
Michael Ward-Bergemann, Accordion
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Review: Youth Without Youth
13 June 2008 | by bloodymondaySee all my reviews

In "Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse", a brilliant documentary about making of "Apocalypse Now", Francis Ford Coppola said he was on a learning process while making that film, as he delved into mysteriousness of jungle. In the end, his on-screen works is like a reflection to his own experience. Many years later (20 years to be exact) and 10 years absent from his latest directorial effort (1997's "The Rain Maker"), Coppola tried to do exact same thing like he did in the past.

"Youth Without Youth" is interesting, yet undeniably confusing tale of Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) who is a professor of language and philosophy in early 19th century. His goal is trying to accomplish a research that he claims to be the key of all human's language. But as it turns out, it might be impossible to finish it after all. This research changed his behavior from fascination into obsession. As he lose everything he loves including his fiancé, Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara), he has nothing left to live on. Many years later, in a blink of World War II, 77-years-old Dominic is on the way to end his miserable life. But then, lightening suddenly stuck at him before he has a chance to do so. The lightening didn't kill him, instead it miraculously rejuvenates his life. Now, he looks like in mid-30's and gave him a supernatural abilities like reading book without open it, mind bending psychic or even developing his own Dr. Jerkyll and Mr. Hyde-like ultra-ego.

After World War II's over, Dominic is traveling throughout the world. He began to look into his research again since now he has a plenty of times to do. But then, he accidentally met his fiancé's dead ringer named Laura (also played by Alexandra Maria Lara). As it turned out, she also happened to be stuck by lightening and develops another supernatural ability which she can speak ancient languages while she slept. Dominic knows right away that it might be an only chance for him to accomplish his unfinished project. But it came with one sacrifice condition, if he decides to stay with her, it might be the way to ending her life.

There's an only one different thing between getting lost in the jungle of Philippines and getting lost in freezing cold city of Romania. And that is "Youth Without Youth" lose its audience's commitment as we keep accompany him to his personal enlightenment (in another words, he wasn't wholeheartedly let us ride along in this time around). With his beyond comprehensible dialogs about metaphysical theory and non-linear stories that keep tangled up like a maze, Youth Without Youth seem to be a failure. No, it's magnificent failure from the master of modern cinema living today.

The cast is another story here, since they served their duty pretty well especially Tim Roth (again, one of the most unused actor living today) who would do all it take to make us believe in the protagonist. And he seemed to really understand what Francis Ford Coppola is trying to achieve. The movie also accompanied by beautiful score (if shamelessly cloying) by Osvaldo Golijov and surprisingly neat cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr.

"Youth Without Youth" require a multiple viewing, in order to understand some of its massages. Truth be told, I didn't really get it. Coppola once said in the interview that this story is very personal to him. Well, maybe this film wasn't exactly making for us. It's sure gonna make a lot of people frustrated. For me, I'm just glad that he's back to work again.


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