#REVIEW: “THE HUMBLING”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
The Humbling is a return to brilliance for veteran Director Barry Levinson and moreover a return to form for a Hollywood Icon, Al Pacino. Although there was a bit of buzz surrounding it after its Premiere at TIFF ’14, the great Drama quietly gets a release now and must not be missed this time around. Much like Oscar-nominated Birdman, it is a Character Study focusing on the Lead, and it explores similar themes – struggles of an aging Actor and mental health. The Humbling in many ways redefines the Levinson and Pacino we think we know.
The Film focuses on Simon Axler (Al Pacino), an aging Actor whose life is not exactly where he wants it to be. He is single and without any firm prospects ahead until he meets a lovely young Woman named Pegeen (Greta Gerwig). The Two enter an unlikely romance and things take a turn for the uncomfortable from there as secrets become unveiled. However, as Simon and Pegeen are together, his life slowly starts to turn around as he tries his hand at acting once again. Pegeen pushes him to succeed, instead of allowing him to slumber in his misery. The problem is, will their scandalous affair prevail scrutiny and disapproval? Also will Simon be able to redeem himself this one last chance?
Pacino delivers here one of his best performances in a celebrated Career and certainly one of his more memorable in recent memory, completely becoming Simon, bearing the weight of his deeply-personal struggle. Gerwig who propelled herself onto our radars in Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, breathes life and passion not only into Simon, but also the Story with her complex Pegeen.
The Humbling‘s Video-on-Demand release is in no ways indicative of its quality as a Film this remarkable should be seen on the Big Screen. VVS Films release The Humbling in select theatres and on-demand Friday January 23, 2015.