Looks like Al Pacino is tired of playing Al Pacino. The method actor, whose propensity for big booming soliloquies has made him an icon for budding acting students everywhere, appears to have become an introvert in the new trailer for The Humbling.
Does the title suggest that the ‘humbling’ is indeed in reference to its lead? Perhaps. The story, based on Philip Roth’s final novel of the same name, focuses on retired theatre actor Simon Axler (Pacino), who meets a lesbian half his age (Greta Gerwig) while on vacation in a Connecticut country home. The pair embark on a relationship during which we can assume Pacino realizes something key about himself. Why the promotional materials state that Gerwig’s character is a lesbian is baffling. More than that, it’s an annoying reinforcement by Hollywood of LGBT stereotypes. All that any gay woman really needs is a grizzled thespian to turn them. Wait, doesn’t that mean she’s bisexual?
With little advanced marketing, surely the opportunity to sweep audiences off their feet was a given? Well, it seems not. The Humbling received mixed reviews this week after its Venice Film Festival debut. Judging by the trailer it’s not hard to see why. From director Barry Levinson (Wag The Dog), it appears to be another retread of ground covered by countless other movies; an older man seeks the charms of a younger woman to rekindle his love of life. Touted as a comedy, the preview does little to corroborate that claim.
The cast is rounded out by a ton of strong supporting actors: Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin, Dianne Wiest, Dan Hedaya and Nina Arianda all have small roles.
Check out the plot summary and trailer below and let us know if you’re looking forward to The Humbling.
The Humbling tells the story of a legendary stage actor who has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age at a secluded country house in Connecticut. Based on Philip Roth’s final novel, it is a tragic comedy about a man who has lived inside his own imagination for too long.