Action / Drama

IMDb Rating 5.6 10 6291


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Al Pacino as A.J. Manglehorn
Holly Hunter as Dawn
Chris Messina as Jacob
1.44 GB
PG-13 on a
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ausmahboi 9 / 10

A Simple Story

Manglehorn is in essence a small simple story. No CG-I, no huge twists or plot points but rather a amazingly woven story of a lonely man attempting to overcome the loss of his old love. Al Pacino plays a role very different from the norm, hes a sarcastic, sad and sometimes bitter old man who spends his days either alone at his locksmith or mourning over a love that "could have been". Without spoiling anything, Manglehorn our main character slowly learns to love life again with the help of a friend. David Gorden Green does an incredible job at making this simple story pop by making many almost surreal like scenes (Most notably the watermelon scene). There are even scenes that are downright poetic (Scenes sometimes play out as Manglehorn recites a poem in the back, this is better than it may sound). As the story progresses it get quite deep, going into interesting back-stories about Manglehorns family (Mostly about the father and son relationship) and even at times very magical elements are hinted at.

I was lucky enough to see Manglehorn at TIFF this past September. If you get the chance this is a film that needs to be seen.

Reviewed by LeonLouisRicci 8 / 10

Another Good Character Study in Pacino's Geezer Period

Eccentric Indie Director Green along with two Superb Actors, Al Pacino and Holly Hunter, deliver an almost Lost Art, the Character Study. Left to Low-Budget experimenters and Performers looking for an outlet Out of the Mainstream, this type of Film is becoming "Film Festival Fodder" and that is where the Genre finds the most Sympathetic Audience.

Not Multiplex favorites and Mainstream Appeal is Lacking, it is this type that Rely on Reality and have been called "Slice of Life". The Film is filled with Offbeat Imagery and Dialog that seems Flat at First but Resonates nonetheless. Witness Manglehorn's Story about a Nun and some Children on a boat to explain His Atheism.

Holly Hunter is simply Stellar in what amounts to a Supporting Role and Her Emotion is Heartbreaking and very Real. Two other People in Manglehorn's Life are included as Representative of why Pacino says in a half-hearted Throwaway Throwback Touchtone..."The World is Yours" (meaning I want nothing to do with it) His Son and a former Kid He coached in Little League.

Both are Obnoxious and Manglehorn finds Them Barely Tolerable and Symbolic of People in General. That may be why when Holly Hunter says on Their First Date..."I'm a people person...I love life", Pacino Snaps and regresses to a Senior Moment of Disconnect.

Overall, a Film for Refined Taste and Fans of Reality based Cinema with an Artistic Flare. Pacino and Hunter give Noteworthy Performances and the Movie is Rich with flavor.

Reviewed by Steve Pulaski 9 / 10

A film for the lonely

Film critic Mike D'Angelo mentions that Manglehorn is perhaps David Gordon Green's least distinctive film, and from the moment I read that, I had to agree with it. Manglehorn lacks the elements of grittiness and naturalism that Green's previous features housed, most likely because this particular effort wasn't written by him. Most of Green's trademarks - standout cinematography by Tim Orr, elements of impressionism, and exploration of a societal underbelly - are either absent or significantly muted. Manglehorn takes on a more episodic structure than the distinctly natural personality Green often conveys, and between a wide variety of intimate short films, a debut film like George Washington, deviations like The Sitter and Your Highness, and recent projects like Joe and this one, Green has proved he can defy everything from conventions to expectations.

Our titular subject is played by Al Pacino, a veteran actor who, in just his most recent performances in this film and Danny Collins, has given way to a tender, more contemplative side to his decades of character acting. He's A.J. Manglehorn here, a professional key-maker who goes about his day locksmithing everything from cars to storefront doors. One look at Manglehorn from an uninformed outsider and they see a man who confidently goes about his day, his job, and his doings, not thinking twice about anything and ostensibly trying to get his job done as efficiently as possible. Yet, Manglehorn is hurting immensely, as we can tell from sporadic voiceovers throughout the film.

Manglehorn fondly recalls the woman he loved and lost; his and her circumstances are left mostly unclear. He speaks so fondly of her that we get the feeling that when she left, everything around him crumbled. He built his life, his personality, his mood, and his feelings around a woman that he effectively made himself miserable to make sure she was happy. Now that she's gone, all Manglehorn can do is proceed forward on autopilot, incessantly caring for his cat and trying not to be fazed by every day activities. His son Jacob (Chris Messina) and him have a frigid relationship, his old friend Gary (Harmony Korine in a role that fits him like a glove) keeps popping up at the most inconvenient times to say the most insensitive thing, and the female bank teller (Holly Hunter), who flirts with him on a consistent basis, doesn't even bring him to a smile.

I identify so much with Manglehorn it's almost frightening; the days where you seem to be on autopilot, the perfunctory interactions that feel like monumental events in your own mind, and the persistent feeling of emptiness and hunger for someone you cannot have are all things that have burdened me this year. The strongest emotional empathy one can have with Manglehorn will come if one has specifically tried to cope with loneliness, the deprivation of someone that makes them happy, and the inability to solely live with one's self.

However, as a film, Manglehorn really shows what Pacino is capable of in his current state. At seventy-five, Pacino wears his straight-forward mug and his slicked back, gray hair with a sense of confidence, expressing contemplation and the weariness of life experience in every facial expression. This is a seasoned actor at work here and, much like in Danny Collins, Pacino's character is likable here because we immediately grasp the sense of what his character wants.

Writer Paul Logan captures Manglehorn's story in an episodic fashion, one that gives each character his or her respective dues but ultimately circumvents to show how Manglehorn himself feels with every reaction. He's a vulnerable character, one that can have an unpredictable reaction to any situation and somebody who, after meeting the woman he truly loved, goes through each and every day with a lot of pain. On this basis alone, he's a character fit for a movie.

David Gordon Green's last film, Joe, was another big winner in my book, capturing the humid south to a tee and showing a fragile but unmistakable bond between a workaholic lumberjack and a young teenager. Manglehorn, however, marches to the beat of a different drum. Shot with the respectable sensitivity of Green is known for, yet muting his and cinematographer Tim Orr's characteristics throughout, Manglehorn is a film stripped of gimmicks and cheap ploys that helps get right to the character here - a troubled and emotionally hurt man who is trying to get through every day with his sanity still intact. Again, I can relate immensely.

Starring: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine, and Chris Messina. Directed by: David Gordon Green.

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