Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel are on mesmerising form as two elderly friends staying at a grand Swiss spa hotel.
Caine’s retired composer is being badgered by a Buckingham Palace emissary who wants him to conduct a performance of his most famous work, Simple Songs, before the Queen. Keitel’s veteran Hollywood director, meanwhile, is planning what he intends to be his final film, set to star his long-time muse Jane Fonda.
Caine’s daughter and assistant Rachel Weisz is also on hand, in turmoil over her husband’s dalliance with a pop star (a game cameo by Paloma Faith), as is a famous film star (Paul Dano), preparing for his next role and peeved that everyone associates him with a film in which he played a robot.
Very little happens and the film’s mannered look may not be to all tastes. However, the actors are all terrific in this tender, bittersweet meditation on ageing, fame, friendship – and much else besides.