by Deborah Kirshner for FILMbutton

Imagine you are an actor who has spent a lifetime making someone else’s fiction real. Now imagine that this fiction was created by the writing team of Woody Allen, Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare with Phillip Roth hovering in the background and you will begin to understand the predicament of Simon Axler, the character played by Al Pacino in Barry Levinson’s film, The Humbling.

At 67, Simon can no longer separate himself from the roles he has played. He is convinced he has lost his talent and he suffers the humiliations of a Lear-ean decay, moving so fluidly between fantasy and reality that, like him, we too cannot distinguish between them. Al Pacino takes on this character with startling authenticity, as if we are privy to his autobiography. We watch the unraveling of a mind gone theatric, watch it slide from the tragic to the comic ; a mind so saturated by the texts of others it can no longer read it’s own.

The Humbling is not so much a movie as it is a cautionary tale. Indeed. Who writes our scripts?

Deborah Kirshner is a multi-talented artist who has, among other things, been a professional violinist who played and toured with the TSO, studied with Itzhak Perlman, received a Gold National Magazine Award and has written a novel about Gustav Mahler.

Click on link for more festival screening times for The Humbling.

– Originally Posted June 15, 2015

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