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The Humbling

Coming Soon

Al Pacino is a veteran actor with over 45 years of on-screen experience under his belt and, as with many actors, he started out as a stage performer in his very early years. He has gone full circle in more recent years by returning to the stage. These life events surely provided strong personal ties that allowed Pacino to immerse himself completely in the role of Simon Axler, an actor who has seen his best performing years pass him by.

The Humbling, based on a Philip Roth novel, takes a look at Simon Axler’s later years in the acting arena and how he is coping with the fact that he’s no longer a young guy. He’s clearly emotionally damaged to some degree and does everything in his power to stay relevant. He falls for a much younger girl played by Greta Gerwig. The bigger twist here is, she happens to be the daughter of a couple that Simon is friends with. Did I mention she is a lesbian? These are a few of the reasons his life is a train wreck waiting to happen. Co-starring with Pacino and Gerwig in this dark comedy/drama are Kyra Sedgwick, Dianne Wiest, Dan Hedaya and Charles Grodin. Barry Levinson (Toys, The Natural) is at the helm for the first time since he dabbled in the horror genre, directing 2012’s The Bay.

There are a couple of things worth noting right off the bat. First, The Humbling will most likely appeal to an audience with specific tastes. For fans of Pacino, this is a must see. His commitment to the character is quite impressive because he is very believable. The next observation that needs to be mentioned is that the overall feel of the movie seems almost Woody Allen-esque. While people seem to go Bananas (see what I did there?) over Allen’s movies there are an equal amount of moviegoers that you couldn’t pay enough to see his work.

Putting the brilliant performance that Al Pacino gives aside, there isn’t much else to be thrilled about. It’s an average film at best. It’s like an overcooked steak with very little seasoning. You just chew and chew and chew for what seems like an eternity only to find out you’re nowhere close to being finished, and you’re not even enjoying the meal. What The Humbling has going for it is that it can be watched in the comfort of your own home (OnDemand or streaming) through various outlets. The Humbling is mostly disappointment, based on the body of work by the involved talent.

The Humbling opens January 23rd at Detroit Institute of Arts

The Humbling is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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