Part of an Al Pacino double-feature (along with Barry Levinson’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Humbling) at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Manglehorn, from director David Gordon Green (the indie darling behind George Washington and All the Real Girls who went on to Pineapple Express and The Sitter), was the more nuanced showcase for Pacino, an actor for whom “nuance” can sometimes be a curious word for a foreign language with no direct translation.
Manglehorn, the character Pacino inhabits, is a sad and lonely locksmith, nursing a broken heart who begins to slowly connect with a bank teller (Holly Hunter) as a means of opening himself up to the possibility of truly living again. The movie is life writ small — almost too small to hold the attention of modern audiences, except for a precious few, interested in the surprise of human intimacy. And on that count, Pacino wonderfully fills the frames. (R) Grade: B+