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The Humbling

3.1 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Based on Phillip Roth s final novel, The Humbling tells the story of over-the-hill stage actor Simon Axler (Al Pacino) and his struggles to find his passion for life again. Near his breaking point, he finds motivation in the form of a young and lustful lesbian Pegeen Stapleford (Greta Gerwig), but as their relationship heats up Simon has a hard time keeping up with the youthful Pegeen. The Humbling is directed by Barry Levinson and also stars Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin, Dianne Wiest and Nina Arianda.

Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Greta Gerwig, Dianne Wiest, Kyra Sedgwick
  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Millennium Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2015
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00N1JQ2EA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,456 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The great Al Pacino stars in Barry Levinson's "The Humbling." Based on Philip Roth's underrated novel, Pacino plays Simon Axler, a famous actor who has lost his ability to act and ends up in a relationship with a much younger woman (a miscast Greta Gerwig). This woman happens to be the daughter of Axler's old friends, and she also happens to be a lesbian.

The main problem with the movie is that it couldn't find the proper balance of comedy and drama, as well as most of the comedy falling flat. The movie also felt awkward, which may have been the point, but it was poorly done. The supporting cast (Dianne Wiest, Dan Hedaya, Charles Grodin, Kyra Sedgwick) are unfortunately wasted.

Pacino's heart was in the right place, but Levinson's brain wasn't.
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Format: Amazon Video
It is difficult to know what to think when this film ends, a great performance by Al Pacino, but not a great film. Pacino plays an aging actor, losing his memory in bits and pieces, probably little strokes,mbut who knows. He goes to a rehab after a breakdown, and comes home to recuperate.

A young woman, played by Greta Getwig, professor at a woman's colkepge, a lesbian, daughter of old friends, and a woman who has had a crush on Pacino's character for a long time, comes to visit. They ultimately have a relationship, she breaks up with her female partner, who us transgender, and assumes a romance with the man. The film goes from interesting to muddled to OK, but nothing to keep the interest for 90 or so minutes.

Great acting,that is the best that can be said.

Recommended For The Acting. prisrob 05-08-15
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Format: Blu-ray
I finally got the opportunity to see this film while it was in limited release in LA back in Jan. I must say that Pacino turns in his best feature film performence since The Insider (1999) or arguably Insomnia (2002). Lately, over the past decade Pacino has focused more on returning to theater with a couple Broadway plays and two riviting critically acclaimed performances in the HBO films "You Don't Know Jack" (2010) and "Phil Spector" (2013). It is truly satisfying to see Pacino sink his teeth into the role of Simon in this film, an ageing actor who feels that he has lost the passion for acting and quite frankly is on the verge of loosing his mind and through an experience of an affair with a young lesbian tries to re invigorate himself with his craft.

This was a passion project for Pacino and was independently financed for very small budget and it's unfortunate that this film wasn't able to find a broader release nationwide. It's also worth noting that this film offers some similarities to the more complete film Birdman which was released around the same time, but is still able to stand on its own as a compelling character study. One thing that I also liked about the film is its uneven tone, swinging from comedy to drama much like a lot of the Shakspere plays that his character plays in the movie, although this was what found most critics mixed about that movie. However, all of the critics do praise Pacino for his performance as it is the strongest point of this film and is definitely worth seeing.
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Format: DVD
Possible spoilers. Al Pacino stars as Simon Axler, a 67 year old actor who is struggling to remember his lines. During a stage performance, he falls off stage and is sent to the hospital. He has hallucinations and has a hard time understanding what is real and what isn’t. Eventually, his psychiatrist, Dr. Farr (Dylan Baker) suggests he spend 30 days in a rest and recuperation facility. In one long monolog during one of those sharing sessions, Axler explains what he’s going through. This is classic Pacino, hair askew, frazzled and delivering good lines. Unfortunately the rest of the film is hit or miss.

Axler moves into his Connecticut mansion, complete with its own pond, woods and heated swimming pool. An early visitor is a 30-something woman who is a stranger to Simon. It turns out she is Pegeen (Greta Gerwig), the daughter of former best friends Asa (Dan Hedaya) and Carol (Dianne Wiest). Pegeen has always had a crush on Simon dating back to when she was 8-years old. She hangs around, much to Simon’s surprise. They talk, have dinner and share some laughs.

Simon, already a bit befuddled, learns that Pegeen had recently broken up with her girlfriend. Yep, she’s a lesbian. Why? Because she is now a he (Billy Porter). Pegeen decides to give old Simon a whirl, often with the help of a variety of sex toys. In one of the funnier scenes, Simon’s housekeeper lectures Pegeen on how to keep her collection of vibrators properly maintained.

Barry Levinson’s film, taken from Philip Roth’s novel, jumps around going from dark comedy to tragedy to drama, sometimes in the same scene. There is also an unnecessary subplot involving a woman Simon met at the rest facility who wants him to kill her husband.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like Al Pacino, so I gave it a 3 star. If I didn't like Pacino, I would have given it a 2 star. It is just one weird movie. Not sure I can even accurately describe it. When the movie was over, my wife and I looked at each other and said "That's it?". We will probably not sit through a replay.
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