January 26, 2015

The Humbling (2014)

The Humbling (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Barry Levinson
Country: USA

Movie Review: 72 year-old filmmaker, Barry Levinson, teams with 74 year-old actor, Al Pacino, in “The Humbling”, a drama about… aging. Philip Roth’s novel of the same name was in the basis of the plot written by Buck Henry, who has “The Graduate” and “Catch-22” in his curriculum, together with a young new voice, Michal Zabede. The film doesn’t maintain balanced levels, blending the traditional drama of an actor whose capacities are gradually vanishing and the trendy openness of a modern, sometimes opportunistic society. Pacino embraces the role of Simon Axler, a sleepless 65 year-old actor whose mind-absences and fantasies became more frequent, while struggling to keep clear what is reality and what is fiction in his daily life. Soon, he adds to this true/false ambiguity the challenging question: what’s right and what’s wrong?, when Pegeen, a young lesbian woman who happens to be the daughter of some old friends, simply sticks to his house and amorally jumps on him. This brings to his door Pegeen’s former girlfriends, one of them recently turned into a man. If this was not a problem to Simon, he will have a hard time dealing with a crazy woman called Sybil, an invasive stalker who wants him to kill her pedophile husband. Somewhat pretentious in its approach, “The Humbling” not always manages to infuse the concerns of an old man within a contemporary stage without some mess. By the end it even drags for several times, revealing a delusional dullness that blurs what it started reliably. The title of this film could have been ‘The Crumbling’ since “The Humbling” pretends to stand up when its legs are tremulous. At least, Levinson and Pacino showed they didn’t forget how to direct and act, respectively.

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