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Barry Levinson's The Humbling may have been met with mixed reviews in Venice, but there's been praise pretty much across the board for Al Pacino's lead performance. Now comes David Gordon Green's Manglehorn, and it's "showcased the finest performance Pacino has delivered in years," argues the Guardian's Xan Brooks. But for Time's Richard Corliss, Manglehorn "never reaches the tenderness or intensity of Green’s work with Nicolas Cage in Joe." Variety's Peter Debruge: "If Manglehorn is a mystery, which seems to be Green and screenwriter Paul Logan’s intent, then the film hasn’t been structured in a way to invite curiosity." » - David Hudson »
★★★★☆The world of the stage proves very much the theme of the festival this year with the third film so far to take the theatrical world as its background. Director Barry Levinson's Philip Roth adaptation The Humbling (2014) is a bird of an entirely different feather to the screwball antics of She's Funny That Way (2014) or the anarchic brio of Birdman (2014). Featuring a masterly turn by Al Pacino, The Humbling is actually closer to Pacino's own theatre-based documentaries Looking for Richard (1996) and Wilde Salomé (2011) in its looseness and postmodern playfulness. It's also by turns moving and very funny. Simon Axler (Al Pacino) is an ageing actor in decline and verging of a nervous breakdown.
- CineVue UK
France’s Metropolitan Film Export, Italy’s Ambi, Lionsgate U.K., AOne Films for the Cis and Latin America’s California Filmes are among the territories snapping up the film. ICM Partners handles U.S rights; Canadian distributor is Vvs Films.
“The Humbling,” based on Philip Roth’s novel, was made on a highly contained budget precisely to avoid dependence on pre-sales and market pressures, Levinson said during an interview at at Venice’s Hotel Cipriani.
“This is the most home-made movie in the festival,” Levinson said proudly. That should be taken literally. “Humbling” was shot at Levinson’s home in Connecticut, »
- John Hopewell
It’s Al Pacino day here on the Lido. The actor is in town for two very different films, Barry Levinson’s out-of-competition The Humbling and David Gordon Green’s competition entry Manglehorn. Pacino stars in the former as an aging theater actor at a crossroads who has an affair with Greta Gerwig’s younger woman. It’s based on the Philip Roth novel and adapted by Buck Henry. In Manglehorn, Green revisits his beloved Texas with the story of a disenchanted locksmith who pines for a lost love and ultimately breaks out of his self-imposed prison. Both have received some mixed notices here thus far. Never mind, the faithful were out in droves for packed back-to-back press conferences this afternoon to hear the venerable Pacino wax on a wide array of subjects.
Pacino said The Humbling, to which he acquired the rights, attracted him because of the juxtaposition of »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Variety's Scott Foundas grants that Barry Levinson's The Humbling "may be doomed to dwell" in the "deservedly large shadow" of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman. "But where Inarritu’s exuberant style piece calls to mind the likes of Fosse and Fellini, The Humbling feels closer to the intimate theater/film hybrid works of Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn (My Dinner With Andre, Vanya on 42nd Street) in its lo-fi aesthetics and gently playful sense of art imitating life imitating art. Fronted by a vibrant, deeply committed Al Pacino performance and very fine support from Greta Gerwig, this uneven but captivating film deserves to find its own audience." This is one of the more positive reviews; we're collecting others. » - David Hudson »
There’s a trend in Venice films this year of aging men, in particular aging actors, dealing with the depression that comes with trying to find ones’ relevance in life. Al Pacino in Barry Levinson's The Humbling and Michael Keaton in Alejandro G. Inarritu's Birdman have similar character arcs as suicidal theater men who can’t seem to find the stage. Pacino stars in a second sad role in Manglehorn, as a loner locksmith whose inability to get over a lost love prevents him from getting on with his life. At a press conference Saturday for The Humbling, Pacino was asked whether he’s ever
- Ariston Anderson
A great sports movie should also appeal to those who have no particular interest in sports. Accordingly, some of the best baseball movies could just as easily slot into other genres – they're comedies like The Bad News Bears, historical dramas like Eight Men Out, weepies, biopics, coming-of-age dramas and everything in between.
With this week's release of based-on-a-true-story feel-good drama Million Dollar Arm, Digital Spy takes a look at the ten best baseball movies.
1. Eight Men Out (1988)
John Sayles' 1988 drama tackles Major League Baseball's Black Sox scandal, in which eight underpaid members of the Chicago White Sox (including 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson) conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series. Sayles' terrific script perfectly captures the time and place and does a superb job of dramatising several elements of a complex story, with impressive attention to detail.
Very much an ensemble piece, the eclectic cast includes John Cusack (as »
"Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything" is a line from Shakespeare's description of the final stage of life made famous in the "All the world's a stage" monologue from "As You Like It." It is quoted early on in Barry Levinson’s incoherent adaptation of what is by most accounts a substandard Philip Roth novel, “The Humbling,” clearly marking the film's themes of aging and the diminishment that comes with it. But "toothless, sightless, bland and empty" could also serve as a harsh but pretty accurate description of the film itself: a missed opportunity that squanders the talents of a pretty stacked cast and jeopardizes the audience’s patience and care for its spoiled characters for too long. Purportedly following a kind of long dark night of the soul for a previously famous theater actor, this film is the third Venice title in as many days to use »
- Jessica Kiang
The Humbling started life as Philip Roth’s 30th novel and one of his most poorly received works, dismissed by the critics as little more than the sexual fantasies of an elderly man. Certainly not the most auspicious beginning for a film version, and these unfortunate origins probably have a lot to do with the wildly uneven tone and quality of Barry Levinson’s tragi-comedy about the last roar of a once-great stage actor. Al Pacino, who reunites with the director after their 2010 TV movie You Don’t Know Jack, has warmly saluted the Bard in his own documentary Looking
- Deborah Young
An actor prepares to face the final curtain of his career in “The Humbling,” director Barry Levinson’s free-form adaptation of Philip Roth’s penultimate novel, about a star of stage and screen beginning to lose the tricks of his trade (and possibly his grasp on reality). In one of those curious quirks of timing, Levinson’s film arrives hot on the heels of another polymorphous movie about an actor in crisis, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “Birdman,” in whose deservedly large shadow it may be doomed to dwell. But where Inarritu’s exuberant style piece calls to mind the likes of Fosse and Fellini, “The Humbling” feels closer to the intimate theater/film hybrid works of Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn (“My Dinner With Andre,” “Vanya on 42nd Street”) in its lo-fi aesthetics and gently playful sense of art imitating life imitating art. , though doing so will surely prove to be an uphill climb. »
- Scott Foundas
As we look in the rearview mirror of the summer blockbusters, September heralds the start of the fall movie season. Filled with Hollywood heavyweights and A-listers, here’s our Big list of the most anticipated movies coming to cinemas this autumn and during the holidays.
Our exhaustive list includes films that are playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival as well the ones that already have a theatrical release date. With the awards season on the horizon, we also added a few bonus films at the end to keep your eye out for in the months ahead.
Pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper and get ready for Wamg’s Guide to the 100+ Films This Fall And Holiday Season.
We kick it off with what’s showing in Toronto at the film festival that runs September 4 – 14.
- Movie Geeks
What are you doing this long, Labor Day weekend? Having a BBQ, marathoning some of Bill Hader's 200 movies every comedy writer should see, or perhaps you're putting your feet up and taking a breather before school kicks in. Well, if you happen to be by a pool, perhaps you'll relate to his new clip from "The Humbling," premiering at the Venice Film Festival this week. Barry Levinson directs this adaptation of Philip Roth's novel, in which Greta Gerwig and Al Pacino fall into an unlikely relationship. She's a young woman, and he's a suicidal actor, and as you might guess, their pairing is...unique. And as you see in this clip, this union is a life saving one, as Pacino watches the carefree Gerwig swim in the pool. You'll have our verdict from Venice soon, but until then, watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Barry Levinson’s new drama, The Humbling, has a lot of elements going for it. First of all, it has an opening night launch at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, after its premiere in Venice this week, which is hopefully a good sign. Second, it has a controversial 2009 novel from Philip Roth as its source material. Third, it has a terrific ensemble, including Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Dianne Wiest, Mandy Patinkin, Kyra Sedgwick and Charles Grodin. Also, classic comedy writer Buck Henry (The Graduate) worked on the screenplay. Now, the first clip from the film has landed online and it is as raw and wrenching as we have come to expect from Roth’s work.
This early clip from The Humbling is bruising and bitter, with Gerwig hard to like as a woman who abandoned her relationship and did not return to her lover’s hospital bed in the aftermath of his surgery. »
- Jordan Adler
A group of scientists finds a mysterious alien "sphere" inside a space craft that appears to have been lying on the Pacific Ocean floor for more than 300 years. Descending to the depths, the team - including Dustin Hoffman's shrink, psychologist Sharon Stone and Samuel L Jackson's maths wiz - realise they are dicing with death. Hoffman's Rain Man director Barry Levinson oversees the mystery, based on the Michael Crichton novel. »
On paper, "The Humbling" has a lot going for it. The film is based on the book by acclaimed author Philip Roth, is led by acting legend Al Pacino and rising star Greta Gerwig, and promises a provocative, sexually charged drama. But the question is whether or not director Barry Levinson will be able to pull it off, and the first clip is here to see if he's got the chops to deliver. The premise of the movie is certainly eyebrow raising, centering on the relationship that brews between an older, suicidal actor and a young woman. But as we see in this clip, things are even more complicated. Seated around a table, the woman talks to her former lover—who was also a woman, before a sex change operation. Again, it's button pushing stuff and we'll be eager to see how it all turns out. No distribution yet, but »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Since its debut in 1989, across 552 episodes and 25 seasons, The Simpsons has become one of the most revered and beloved TV programmes of all time. It’s a true cultural phenomenon that’s influenced not just animation, but all areas of TV comedy and sitcom. For so many of us, its quotes and catchphrases have permeated our everyday vernacular, from single words like “crisitunity” and “embiggen” to phrases “you don’t win friends with salad” and “everything’s coming up Milhouse.”
Personal opinions may vary, but for me the show’s peak years were from season 4 through to 10. They’re consistently funny, all killer and no filler runs with barely a dud episode to be found between 1992-1998. Past this point the standard becomes a little more mixed, and recent seasons have been distinctly average at best. The »
One film that was beloved by some children of the 1970s and 1980s was "Young Sherlock Holmes," Barry Levinson's 1985 feature starring 19-year-old Scottish actor Nicholas Rowe as the Baker Street Detective. In that film, the character first meets John Watson at a boarding school and together they solve a mystery.
Almost three decades later, filmmaker Bill Condon is at work on "Mr. Holmes" - a film adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel "A Slight Trick Of The Mind". This take explores the other side of Holmes' life - as a long retired 93-year-old beekeeper growing frustrated as his mental faculties have begun to fade.
The legendary Sir Ian McKellen is playing the elderly Holmes, but today Empire reports that the now 47-year-old Rowe is also onboard to cameo as Sherlock Holmes. Even more surprising, he won't be appearing as a younger version of McKellen's Holmes in flashback either.
You see in the 1947-set film, »
- Garth Franklin
The Toronto International Film Festival will celebrate Bill Murray Day on September 5th, commemorating the actor's career with public screenings of three of his biggest movies — Stripes, Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters — and ending with the world premiere of his latest effort, St. Vincent, Deadline reports. Murray has also agreed to participate in an audience Q&A following St. Vincent to discuss both the film and his career.
Tickets for the three Murray classics go on sale at 8 a.m. on September 5th at the Tiff Bell Lightbox box office; the »
When die-hard Sherlockians - or Holmesians, depending on your taste - hear the name Nicholas Rowe, they're bound to think of the Scottish actor's turn as the young Sherlock Holmes in Young Sherlock Holmes, the 1985 movie directed by Barry Levinson and written by Christopher Columbus. Most thought his days as Holmes ended then when he was 19, but thanks to an ingenious cameo in next year's Mr Holmes, he will return as the great consulting detective at the age of 47... in a rather wonderful fashion.The story of Mr Holmes, which director Bill Condon adapted with Jeffrey Hatcher from Mitch Cullin's novel A Slight Trick Of The Mind, takes place in 1947 when Holmes is 93, long retired to his Sussex beekeeping and frustrated by his diminishing power of recollection. Within this world, Holmes is as famous as you'd expect, and has had movies made of his life. It's in one of these films, »
Rock The Kasbah is the story of “Richie Vance,” a has-been rock manager who takes his last remaining client on a Uso tour of Afghanistan. When Richie finds himself in Kabul, abandoned, penniless and without his passport, he discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice and manages her through Afghanistan’s version of “American Idol,” the wildly popular “Afghan Star.”
The film is written by Mitch Glazer and directed by Barry Levinson. Qed’s Bill Block, Venture Forth’s Jacob Pechenik, Shangri-La Entertainment’s Steve Bing and Mitch Glazer are producing Rock The Kasbah. Brian Grazer and Tom Freston are executive producers. »
- Michelle McCue
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