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Nicola Peltz

Heavy-handed 'Youth in Oregon' makes dying with dignity hard

Heavy-handed 'Youth in Oregon' makes dying with dignity hard

There are many ways to read an opening scene in which an elderly man glumly stares at himself in the bathroom mirror but perhaps only one way to interpret a shot that zeroes in on the surgery scar on his chest. It’s imminent death that’s on the mind of Ray, played by Frank Langella. Eventually, it’s all any of his family can think about in “Youth in Oregon,” a schematic and bathos-laden end-of-life indie from director Joel David Moore, whose title, if you replaced “Oregon” with “Asia” and said it out loud, cutely tells you the issue at hand.

Irascible Ray is a retired doctor two years removed from a heart attack that’s necessitated that he and his cheery, sociable wife,...

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