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Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
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Honestly, I had no expectations from this movie what-so-ever. Al Pacino has been disappointing his cinema audience for such a long time that despite a few Luke warm positive reviews I'd heard of 'The Humbling', I still thought I'd just pass it this time. But it was only because of Barry Levinson (Director: Rain Man) that I eventually thought of giving the film a try. AND 'wow', I can honestly say after watching this film that it is Al Pacino who eventually saves it, and Levinson who every now and then allows it to slip.
I felt that in the first 50 minutes the film really moves on and gets a grip on the viewer - however the next 30 minutes are too shallow with Peegen's ex-lovers and Sybil, the psychiatric patient, popping up every now and then and to the extent that it gets irritating and the film almost becomes stagnant. I think Levinson should have edited at least 10 minutes from this segment.
In the last 20 minutes or so, thank God, the story moves on, and as it progresses towards the end, Pacino truly shines. He does actually deliver a brave performance throughout the film. Greta Gerwig also does quite well. It is an actors film no doubt.
In the end once again I felt that Levinson dropped this film a couple of times but Al Pacino saved it. I am also happy that Al Pacino was not predictable this time. For any Al Pacino fan I'd say go ahead and watch the film: it will surprise you!!!
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