Music and Lyric by David Lang

What will likely end up being my favorite film of the year, “Youth” is the perfect example of why I continue to take part in this Oscar Challenge, as to discover films I might not otherwise see. With so much range of emotion, with stellar performances all around, “Youth” is not only well acted but the cinematography is absolutely amazing and the writing is emotionally deep. Director Paolo Sorrentino is no stranger to the Academy Awards, as his Italian film “The Great Beauty” won an Oscar in 2014 and his film “Il Divo” was nominated for Best Makeup & Hairstyling in 2010. Now, “Youth” is nominated for Best Original Song, with the song in question being an orchestra and opera piece titled “Simple Song #3.”

There is a large story-line based around the song, as Michael Caine’s character, Fred Ballinger, a retired composer and conductor, is continuously harassed by the Queen’s men to return to the stage to conduct the piece with singer Sumi Jo. Not taking no for an answer they eventually dredge out the real reason he will not return to conduct the piece, which is definitely one of the most heartfelt moments of the film. Caine also helps instruct a young boy trying to learn the piece on his violin and not believing that Fred’s actually the composer. The song is displayed at the end, in a grand moment, and definitely leaves it all out on the table.

What’s its competition? Chances are slim for “Youth” and its Best Original Song nomination, as the popular artists dominate the category this year. With Lady Gaga’s song being nominated in a film otherwise unheard of and Sam Smith having already won a Golden Globe for his song in “Spectre” and even The Weeknd and his popularity putting him ahead for his contribution to the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” soundtrack, David Lang’s orchestral piece likely does not stand a chance, however, you could probably place it above “Manta Ray” from the also unheard of “Racing Extinction,” though even that is brought to you by the Academy favorites that produced the Oscar winning documentary “The Cove.”

Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for David Lang.

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// Produced by Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima, and Carlotta Calori //Directed by Paolo Sorrentino //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, January 24th, 2016 // LAEMMLE PLAYHOUSE //  27 films – 36 days //

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