It's great to see Sir Michael back in a leading role again. Apart from the little seen Last Love, he's not had top billing in a movie since Harry Brown eight years ago. Here he shares centre stage with Keitel as two old-timers, long time friends staying at a plush European hotel and spa.
Caine plays a retired orchestra conductor reluctant to be invited to perform again at a celebratory event for the Queen of England, while Keitel is a long-in-the-tooth movie director cooking up ideas for his latest opus with a team of young acolytes.
As well as the convivial chats the two share together, they must also contend with other guests staying at the hotel, such as Caine's wayward daughter (Weisz), falling apart as her marriage collapses, Dano as a famous actor researching his latest eccentric role and a visit from movie star Fonda, who makes sharp witted barbs about the the current state of the film industry.
It's all beautifully shot – the visuals are gorgeous – with little Felliniesque touches at times, and there are intermittent scenes that will certainly bring a smile to your face, but overall Sorrentino's ambling effort meanders too much to satisfy. Isolated moments bring great pleasure but it never hangs together enough to be a cohesive whole. It doesn't have enough meat on its bones underneath to equal the tasty and glossy appearance.
EXTRAS: An interview with director Paul Sorrentino (10:50); a Behind The Scenes featurette (17:10); and The BFI London Film Festival featurette (2:17).