Hidden heart in ‘Manglehorn’ Pacino plays a loner
Al Pacino follows up his recent, nicely tuned turn in “Danny Collins” with another sensitively rooted performance, playing a lonely locksmith with a tamper-proof heart in director David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn.”
In the tenderly observed character study, Pacino’s A.J. Manglehorn is a small-town Texas business proprietor living in a cramped, neglected house with his constipated cat.
Given to fits of rage, he’s too fixated on the long-lost love of his life to demonstrate any feelings for those who currently care about him, like his semi-estranged son (Chris Messina) and a sweet, solitary bank teller (Holly Hunter).
There’s a lovely, aching understatement to the acting, while Green imbues Paul Logan’s script with idiosyncratic imagery that runs the gamut from a cluster of bees nesting beneath a mailbox to graphic veterinary surgery sequences.
Though occasionally distracting, the quirky visual poetry eventually works its magic, paving the way for an unexpected final act that cracks open a long-shuttered door on the life of a man who was, in his own words, “losing hope in tomorrow.”
“Manglehorn.” MPAA rating: PG-13 on appeal for sexual content, language, accident and surgery images. Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes. Playing: Sundance Sunset, Los Angeles.