April 12, 2015 12:00pm
SilverCity Theatre A
Director: Barry Levinson
Cast: Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Kyra Sedgwick
Runtime: 112 minutes
“Pacino excels in “The Humbling,” a complex drama which seems, almost, tailor-made for the actor.” – Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin’s Picks
“An unusually charming dark comedy about an actor teetering on the edges of reality, fantasy and career.” – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail
In this bracing film version of Philip Roth’s 2009 novel, Al Pacino plays Simon Axler, an aging star who can’t remember his lines, falls into the pit during a Broadway performance of “As You Like It,” enters rehab with thoughts of suicide, and on release returns to his Connecticut home to find what he thinks is love and a new life with Pageen (a sly, stellar Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha, last year’s Northwest Film Fest), a much younger woman who happens to be a lesbian.
The Humbling is a dark dazzler shot through with mirth and delicious malice. Pacino and director Barry Levinson are experimenting here. Shooting on the fly in Levinson’s own home, they’re putting comedy and tragedy on a collision course, waiting for the inevitable.
That happens when creative talents are on the tightrope. The compensation is the exhilarating rush that comes when the elements connect. This is Pacino’s best film performance in years. He’s a daredevil going full throttle. In playing an actor who has lost the art of fooling himself, he reveals with mordant wit the terrors of diminished capacity. To watch him do it is a master class.