A stage actor who is slowly losing his mind engages in a relationship with a sexually confused younger woman.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Buck Henry (screenplay), Michal Zebede (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Simon
Greta Gerwig ... Pegeen
Nina Arianda ... Sybil
Charles Grodin ... Jerry
Mary Louise Wilson ... Mrs. Rutledge
Dan Hedaya ... Asa
Dianne Wiest ... Carol
Billy Porter ... Prince
Li Jun Li ... Tracy
Lance Roberts ... Walter
Kyra Sedgwick ... Louise
Victor Cruz ... Security Guard
Derrick Arthur ... Techie
Steve Rosen ... Stage Manager
Andrea Barnes ... Nurse
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Storyline

Simon is an aging actor who suffers from bouts of dementia. He is institutionalized after an incident during a Broadway play, then returns home, where he contemplates suicide in Hemingway style. When he embarks upon an affair with an ex-girlfriend's amoral bisexual daughter, Pegeen his world starts to fall apart. It ends on stage, with even Axler's audience and fellow actors unsure what's real and what's not. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Suicide is the role you write for yourself.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual material, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was screened in the Out of Competition section of the 71st Venice International Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Simon Axler: You're not a woman! You're a baby pony!
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Soundtracks

Circlesong 6
Performed By Bobby McFerrin
Written By Bobby McFerrin
Courtesy Of Sony Classical
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User Reviews

 
Talk about bad timing....
24 January 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

There's a film about an aging actor who is having doubts about himself and his craft. He's thought of suicide and dreads having a flop on the Broadway stage. So, to help cope, the guy retreats into fantasy--and the audience often finds that they have a hard time separating out what's real and what is not throughout the picture. This is the synopsis for the multi-award nominated Birdman and, oddly, also for a brand new movie from director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Sleepers, Wag the Dog) which stars Al Pacino! Had I not just seen both of these films recently, I wouldn't have believed two films would be so similar and come out independently of each other only a few months apart...but here we have it.

When the film begins, Simon Axler (Pacino) is falling apart during a performance of a play. He's forgotten his lines--mixing them up with another play he was in some time ago. In a panic, he throws himself off the stage. Soon, after attempting suicide, he ends up in a mental institution. After a brief stay, he's back home--home to an empty house and with few job prospects. Out of the blue, a woman from his past shows up and she wants him. The minor problem is that she's a lesbian...as well as his goddaughter. Sounds complicated? Sure...but it gets worse...much worse. Along with frequent retreats into his fantasy world, a suddenly super-problematic personal life as well as paralyzing stage fright comes one final chance to star in yet another Broadway play. What's to come of all this comeback...will it be a bust?

The biggest positive this film has over Birdman is its sense of humor. Birdman is awfully serious. The Humbling is serious but the film also pokes gentle fun at Pacino's character and his age--plus there are quite a few parallels to the real life Pacino. I particularly loved the scene at the vet...but that's just one you'll have to see for yourself. Is it better than Birdman? No. But if you liked one, you'll probably like the other...they are both well- crafted and offer some terrific acting.


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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 2015 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

The Humbling See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$399,666
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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