Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
A.J. Manglehorn is a reclusive Texas key-maker who spends his days caring for his cat, finding comfort in his work and lamenting a long lost love. Enter kind-hearted bank teller Dawn whose interest in the eccentric Manglehorn may just be able to draw him out of his shell.Written by
In the original script Manglehorn was a criminal who had gone straight. He met with his old partner who was hiding out in a senior citizen's home and his mysterious back story was explained. There was also a massacre at Dawn's bank and a massive earthquake that brought forth Clara. This was all edited out of the final film. See more »
When Manglehorn has a conversation with the little girl in a park, the girl holds a yellow toy and eats ice cream. The amount of ice cream changes too quickly between shots. See more »
Out of all the roles Al Pacino has gotten in his career, that of A.J. Manglehorn must be his most unusual one to date. This might put people off (as I suspect is the case, given the mixed reviews), but you know what? I think it's one of his best performances. Life is never easy, especially when there's a big obstacle slowing you down from trying to get through it. Something that you keep thinking about, can't STOP thinking about, maybe don't even want to. And this is the case for Manglehorn. No matter how hopeless it is, how meaningless it is to keep pondering about it, he keeps writing letters to Clara, the long-lost love of his life. His contact with people is very limited and the only true friend he has is his cat. He's working as a locksmith, but doesn't feel like he contributes much to society. His sorta pal keeps talking about his new salon, which he doesn't care about. He doesn't see his son very often either.
He keeps being isolated because he doesn't see much meaning in life as Clara doesn't respond to his letters.
This was a very fine, down-to-earth little character study about a man with low self confidence and tough luck. And it was beautiful. The conversations flowed well and felt natural, the cinematography made great use of imagery to illustrate feelings and most of all did Al Pacino blow me away completely. It was to the point that he didn't even play a character, he was... anyone. Anyone you could happen to know. There are plenty of people out there like Manglehorn and this actor gave such a figure not only flesh and bones, but also intestines.
You'd have to be a fool to skip out on such a simple, yet special and poignant film.
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