Youth script
Youth (2015)
Synopsis: Fred (Michael Caine), a retired composer and conductor, vacations at a Swiss Spa with his longtime friend Mick (Harvey Keitel). As Mick crafts what may be his final screenplay, Fred is given the opportunity to perform for the Queen.

1. EXT. HOTEL GARDEN. DAY

A terribly English face, its pale skin flushed in the crisp

springtime sun. Short, fair hair. Jacket and tie. A highly

intelligent face, persuasive too. The face of a fifty-yearold

man who is sitting, legs crossed, in the pretty garden of

a hotel.

Slightly behind him sit two younger assistants.

And behind them, a beautiful swimming pool. Only a few

bathers, all of them wrapped in identical, soft white robes.

A lazy, early morning, vacation atmosphere.

Jacuzzis dot the flawless lawn around the pool.

In the background, a magnificent hotel. Welcoming, dignified,

and luxurious all at once.

And framing the hotel, reigning over it, are the mountains.

The fifty-year-old man takes out a pack of cigarettes and is

about to light up when a calm, uncritical voice warns him.

CALM VOICE:

You can’t smoke here.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

Not even outside?

CALM VOICE:

Not even inside.

The calm voice belongs to the man sitting across from him.

English, about eighty years old, in a soft beige jacket and

trousers, and eyeglasses with imposing black frames, behind

which nest watery, light blue eyes, laden with melancholy and

cunning. We’re talking about Fred Ballinger.

There’s a small table between them. An open newspaper in

front of Fred. He is calm, placid, serene, but a vague

disenchantment hovers in his eyes. In what we realize is a

habitual gesture, he unwraps a candy and pops it in his

mouth. He’s clearly a regular consumer of such candies.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

Pardon me, Mr. Ballinger, or may I

call you Maestro?

Fred Ballinger shrugs his shoulders. It really doesn’t matter

to him.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD (CONT’D)

And may I ask how your holiday is

going?

FRED BALLINGER:

Very well, thank you.

2.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

Have you been coming here long?

FRED BALLINGER:

For more than twenty years. I used

to come with my wife. Then I kept

coming on my own, I have many

friends here.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

Why Switzerland, Maestro?

FRED BALLINGER:

It's close to Italy. And I directed

the Venice orchestra for twenty-

four years. After London and New

York, of course.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

But of course, how silly of me!

This must also be a very good place

to relax.

FRED BALLINGER:

It’s only a place to relax.

The fifty-year old smiles. Fred doesn’t.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

Are you still directing or

composing, Maestro?

FRED BALLINGER:

No, I’m retired.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

It goes without saying, of course,

that I, like everyone else, am a

great admirer of yours.

FRED BALLINGER:

Thank you.

The fifty-year old smiles.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD

Maestro, as I indicated to you in

my letter, I work for the

Ceremonies and Events Office at

Buckingham Palace.

Fred stirs slightly when he hears this.

FRED BALLINGER:

You work for the Queen?

FIFTY-YEAR OLD EMISSARY

Well, in a sense, yes!

3.

FRED BALLINGER:

Good. Monarchies are always so

endearing.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD EMISSARY

(surprised) If I may, Maestro, why

exactly do you find the monarchy

endearing?

FRED BALLINGER:

Because it’s so vulnerable.

Eliminate just one person and all

of a sudden the whole world

changes.

Like in a marriage.

FIFTY-YEAR OLD EMISSARY

Her Majesty the Queen would be

honored to confer a knighthood upon

you this coming June, Maestro.

A little smile darts across Fred’s face.

FRED BALLINGER:

Do you know what Satie said when he

was offered the Legion of Honor?

“It’s not enough simply to refuse

it, you also have to not deserve

it.” But I am not Satie. And you

must excuse me, I have the most

dreadful habit of quoting other

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Paolo Sorrentino

Paolo Sorrentino was born on May 31, 1970 in Naples, Campania, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for The Great Beauty (2013), Youth (2015) and This Must Be the Place (2011). He is married to Daniela D'Antonio. They have two children. more…

All Paolo Sorrentino scripts | Paolo Sorrentino Books

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