||Francis Ford Coppola returns to the director's chair for the first time in nearly a decade with his ambitious parable YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH. Set in Romania on the eve of World War II, the tale begins when 70-year-old linguistics professor Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) is struck by lightning, miraculously restoring him to the flower of youth. Swaddled in bandages, blind, and mute, Dominic astounds his doctor (Bruno Ganz) with his swift recovery--new teeth, smooth skin, and a shining mane of hair--and even the young nurses start to take an interest in the dashing, vigorous septuagenarian. But things turn perilous when the Third Reich learns of Dominic's rejuvenation and wants to harness his new, superhuman abilities. On the run in wartorn Europe, Dominic uses his powers to keep one step ahead of the Nazis and finish his life's work, an expansive study on language and human consciousness. The unpredictable plot thickens when Dominic falls for Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara), a beautiful young woman who reminds him of a lost love and, what's more, has also had a fateful encounter with lightning--leaving her possessed by the spirits of her past lives! As she journeys from Switzerland to Malta to India, Veronica's unusual predicament may hold the key to completing Dominic's encyclopedic masterwork, but perhaps at the cost of their new life together.^Closer to baroque and risk-taking pictures like ONE FROM THE HEART than THE GODFATHER, Coppola's sprawling exploration of love, memory, and lost time brims with rich symbolism and inventive visuals. Based on the novella by Mircea Eliade, the philosophic film evokes the poetic enigmas and freewheeling narrative of a literary novel. As audacious as it is thought-provoking, YOUNG WITHOUT YOUTH is a compelling return from a cinematic master.