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.