Manglehorn, film review: Al Pacino in an unexpectedly restrained groove

(12A) David Gordon Green, 97 mins. Starring: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine
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The Independent Culture

A British director who worked with Al Pacino once observed that directing him was like operating a tugboat trying to guide an ocean liner. Pacino is generally such a huge and forceful presence that he risks unbalancing any film in which he appears. David Gordon Green's new drama sees him in an unexpectedly restrained groove.

Pacino plays a curmudgeonly locksmith, mulling over lost love and estranged from pretty much everyone apart from his cat. He doesn't get on with his flashy financier son (Chris Messina) and is too much "a son of a bitch" properly to express his feelings for Holly Hunter's lonely bank teller. There is a soulfulness to Pacino's performance, but this is a downbeat and dispiriting drama about broken families.

The flashiest and most lively performance comes from Harmony Korine as the flamboyant pimp and massage-parlour owner who, as a kid, used to have Manglehorn as his sports coach.

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