Sunday, April 21, 2024

Oscars: Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling” with Al Pacino Will Get Millennium Push


EXCLUSIVE I am told that Millennium Pictures is going to release Barry Levinson’s terrific film “The Humbling” in time for a big Oscar push this fall. Sources say Millennium, which had thought of selling the rights, has wisely decided to make a run for it. Al Pacino turns in an absolutely wonderful Oscar-sized performance and Greta Gerwig is incredibly charming in a supporting role in Levinson’s adaptation of the Philip Roth novel.

Audiences in Venice and Toronto loved the film, a comedy very much in the tone of Levinson’s great “Wag the Dog” and “Rain Man.” At the first Toronto screening, the audience couldn’t get enough– and they did get all the humor Levinson and Pacino injected into Roth’s saga of a washed up cranky actor who flees to the country. Broadway star (“Venus in Fur”)  Nina Arianda has a pivotal secondary role and she’s spot on loony, too.

So what will happen? Millennium will power up and do a great marketing and PR plan, put on a huge Oscar push and “The Humbling” should do very well. If Pacino wants it, he will entertain the Academy voters and they will be delighted. His performance is par excellence. And the movie is funny and smart– and quirky– a delight because it’s completely original. Now get a good Oscar campaign together and let’s see it happen.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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