A movie review of “Manglehorn”: Holly Hunter gives one of her best performances as a lonely Texas bank teller who tries to interest a distracted locksmith (Al Pacino). Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
As a director, David Gordon Green seems to be all over the map, moving from art-house breakthrough (“All the Real Girls”) to slacker comedy (“Pineapple Express”) to ambitious character study (“Prince Avalanche”).
If there’s a theme that recurs in most of his work, it’s a sympathy with lonely people struggling to connect — often in Texas.
“Manglehorn,” his latest, takes place in Sunset Valley, Texas, where an aging locksmith, A.J. Manglehorn (Al Pacino), is obsessed with the memory of a woman who left him long ago.
Movie Review ★★★
‘Manglehorn,’ with Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina, Harmony Korine, Natalie Wilemon. Directed by David Gordon Green, from a screenplay by Paul Logan. 97 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and language and for an accident and surgery scenes. Varsity.
Pacino easily captures the character’s longtime frustration, though it’s Holly Hunter who supplies the story’s heartbreak. She plays Dawn, a lonely bank teller who tries to interest Manglehorn during their weekly bank meetings. It’s one of this fine actress’s best performances: alert, quietly emotional, never maudlin.
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Also quite good is Chris Messina as Manglehorn’s arrogant, estranged son, whose willingness to cut corners in business gives the character a wide range to play.
Paul Logan’s script may err on the side of preachiness (some of the more self-conscious scenes could have come from a 1950s stage play), and at times you expect someone to declare “I told you so,” but Hunter’s work is a triumph.
You’re left with the uncanny feeling that you know what Dawn’s thinking before she thinks it.