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.
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.
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.
In the 35 years since she landed her first paid gig, Holly Hunter has proven herself an actress of almost unparalleled range. Her versatility was showcased vividly in 1993, when she starred as a mute, 19th-century bride in Jane Campion’s “The Piano” (for which she won an Oscar), a sassy secretary in “The Firm” (which earned her an Oscar nomination) and a homicidal housewife in HBO’s “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom” (which earned her an Emmy).
Your upcoming projects could not be more different from one another.
Doing all these different kinds of wildly different experiences, it just adds to feeling very alive, and they each make me feel excited in different ways. With “Manglehorn” and “Batman,” you have two directors that are comfortable in their milieu, you know? David Gordon Green knows and understands Austin [where the film is set]. He went to college with tons of the guys that he works with, so it’s really nice to be on the set where there’s that level of comfort and trust. And Zack should be directing giant movies, he flourishes under that pressure.
How was it working with Al Pacino for the first time?
He’s lovely. He can still be very vulnerable, very open to another actor. I loved seeing that. As we get older, people close down. We get less adaptive, less flexible — literally. Curiosity can diminish, and you want safety. You want what you know. Familiarity. This is one of the reasons I like to act — it’s because acting forces you into situations you don’t know. I like the gypsy aspect of [acting] – I feel that it keeps me much more adaptive.
Welcome to Holly Hunter Fan your resource for everything this wonderful and talented actress. I first fell in love with Holly from the movie The Piano (which happens to be also my favourite and have my favourite song from it “The Sacrifice”) but went on and on loving her more for her great acting skills and the variety of roles she did.
The gallery is far from being complete but opens already with over 2,000 files on it. I’ll be working more and more to bring it to perfection.
I want to take a moment to thank a few people who supported and helped me: first our host, Fansite Network, of course for hosting us. Then I want to thank Luciana and Eli for their help and support with pictures and my friends Stef and Ann for being that good conscience voices and enable me to this project which means a lot to me and to my passionate heart. Thanks girls, you make my fansite world a wonderful craziness to live with you!
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