Al Pacino is at his game again. Finally leaving the shadow of gangster/bossy roles behind, the respected and Oscar-winning actor is doing very well lately as he’s engaged in important and relevant roles that indicate his aging process and the issues that follow it. Different from Liam Neeson, De Niro and (please!) Schwarzenegger, whom are still exploring their “hero/killing machine” type, the 75-year-old New-Yorker has decided to jump into real characters, ordinary men who are struggling to find a new meaning of life, roles that identify with him. For the third time this year, Pacino delivers another fantastic, moving performance as a lonely and delusional locksmith man, longing for the woman he could never forget, caring for his cat, trying to fix his relationship with his estranged son, and willing to become a more social person, as he’s mostly rude and unfriendly. He maintains a delicate form of keeping the woman he has always loved close to him, writing letters, though they always returns; when a bank teller (wonderfully played by Holly Hunter) insinuates they should go out on a date, he meets another chance on getting back on track of real love. But the feelings consuming him inside will challenge him to rest the past at last. Pacino does it magnificently, developing his character with a precise quietness and shyness, and also an infuriating self-awareness of his suffering: he knows his longing is in vain, but he chooses to be nostalgic. This absorbing and uplifting dark comedy about love and forgiveness is also the remarkable comeback of director David Gordon Green. When he debuted about 15 years ago, with “George Washington” and then “All The Real Girls”, he was building a brilliant and authentic career as a promising independent young American director who could depict the issues of ordinary people with a unique humble sensibility; but then Hollywood tried to swallow his talent, offering him awful stoner flicks such as “Pineapple Express”, “The Sitter” and “Your Highness”. He might have noticed the damage caused by that mainstream phase, and fortunately got back to his primary sensibility and accuracy as a filmmaker exploring the emotions, confusions and dilemmas of the generation surrounding him. This new project reaffirms Pacino as one of the greatest actors ever, and also allows Mr. Green to claim back his status of a great and talented contemporary filmmaker. Long Live the Independent Cinema. There’s always time to straighten up. And we, movie lovers and fans, appreciate that.
DVD: HUMAN CAPITAL
Winner of 7 Donatello Awards, Paolo Virzí’s drama investigates the causes and consequences of a hit-and-run fatal accident involving two different families, connected by the relationship of their young children. The film is a smart and vigorous look on greed, power and social injustices, revealing shocking details of how money can manipulate and dictate one’s decisions. Valeria Bruni shines as the lonely wife of an ambitious self-centered investor, with a mysterious sensuality. (On DVD by Film Movement)