Youth Without Youth (2007) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Romance / Thriller
Sony || R - 125 minutes - $38.96 || May 13, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-06-09

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer(s): Mircea Eliade (novella); Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)

Supplemental Material:
  • Director's Commentary
  • The Making of Youth Without Youth
  • The Music for Youth Without Youth
  • Youth Without Youth: The Makeup
  • End Credits

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (TrueHD 5.1), French (TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Synopsis: Romania is on the brink of a war with Germany, and linguistics professor Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) has little left to live for. On Easter Day 1938, he crosses the street and is struck by a bolt of lightning. Badly burned and nearly dead, he amazes the doctors by healing in only a short time. Ge defies science and ages in reverse from 70 to 40. There's seemingly no limit to the wonder and love he can find in his new youth. He peruses lost dreams, endless knowledge and the secrets of life until his secret is discovered. Now he must use his increased intelligence to keep his powerful secret safe from the wicked powers that would use it for evil.

After a 10 year hiatus, Francis Ford Coppola returns to bore us to tears.

As of fan of Bram Stokers Dracula, I was looking forward to watching Youth Without Youth, and when I did, I found myself counting the minutes until it was over.

The film starts off in 1938 when a 70 year old Dominic is hit by lightening one night and burned beyond recognition. After several weeks at the hospital he makes an amazing recovery only to find out that he is now aging in reverse. Instead of being 70 he appears to be a young, fit 40 year old man. New teeth have grown back and his wrinkles from his years have faded.

Dominic is now being hunted by several groups of people, more notably the Nazi's, to use him for experiments to create the "perfect" human. His only friend, Professor Stanciulescu (Bruno Ganz), has given him a safe house to use for the time being to hide from the world which wants to meet him so badly. Over the course of the next few years Dominic leaves the safe house, gains supernatural abilities, hooks up with a Nazi chick, changes identity's, and meets a women that looks strangely like a lover of his when he was young, Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara).

Without spoiling too much of the film, prepare to be confused. I found myself wondering what was going on most of the time and the years cut so fast I didn't know if I had fallen asleep and woken up or this is just the way the film was meant to be.

While I hated the movie, the performances were amazing. Tim Roth deserves an Emmy nomination for his role as he plays it with great attitude and spirit. I was also equally captivated with the performance by Alexandra Maria Lara who spoke all the various languages with great fluency.

One thing the movie has going for it is the amazing cinematography. The film takes place all over the world and many times we are presented with some beautiful landscapes and imagery. I was blown away by some of the remote destinations the characters traveled to, and if there is one thing Coppola did right, it would be his fantastic location shoots. At one point newspaper headlines that would appear on screen at various points of time detailing a time-line of where out character is. They look great and have an amazing sound to them when they ďhit" the screen.


Commentary with Director Francis Ford Coppola - Coppola is far more entertaining here then what is being played on screen. He delivers little factoids from time to time and even goes off-topic more than once.

The Making of Youth Without Youth (8:42; SD) - Unfortunately, this is your typical "everyone was great!" featurettes that I despise.

The Music for Youth Without Youth (26:52; SD) - Easily the best feature on the disc showcases all the music used for the film. There is a rare gem of a scene included here as well that I won't spoil for those that plan on watching this.

Youth Without Youth: The Makeup (18:03; HD) - This featurette follows Peter King as he shows us how most of the makeup was done for the film.

End Credits (4:05; HD) - This is, well, the end credits. There is none present at the end of the film to preserve its "style". If I could make rolling eyes icon right here I would.


The film is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio of 2.35:1 on a 50GB disc. As I mentioned in my review of the film, the cinematography is amazing. The film brings us to make different locations and everything just looks stupendous. Snow on Dominic jackets, the mountainside, little details on the characters all have a nice pop to them. I was even amazing at the newspaper headlines that appeared throughout the film had enough clarity to actually read each individual world.

Youth is presented with an English and French TrueHD 5.1 track. Itís great to see two different TrueHD tracks on a single disc where normally we would have an English TrueHD and a French Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Good job Sony! Right from the start there is some powerful music being played in all speakers that sets the mood for the rest of the film. Many times I found myself listening to the sound around me like crickets chirping instead of what was actually happening on screen.


Itís very hard to recommend this film even as a rental. While the picture and audio quality is amazing, the film is a dud, plain and simple. I found myself counting the minutes until it was over. If you really need a Coppola fix on Blu-ray, do yourself a favor and rent Bram Stokers Dracula instead.