Al Pacino barrels past fans and reporters on his way into The Humbling’s premiere

Al Pacino barrels past fans and reporters on his way into The Humbling’s premiere

(Image: Giordano Ciampini) (Image: Giordano Ciampini)
 

So you think you’re some hotshot reporter with your fancy press pass and an assigned foothold on the Elgin Theatre red carpet for the Thursday-night premiere of the new Al Pacino flick The Humbling—a quirky-looking feature adapted from a Philip Roth novel about a celebrated stage actor, who, at a time of mental crisis, strikes up an affair with a much younger woman.

You’ve waited a little more than an hour. You’ve got your best Michael Corleone impression readied. The smiling venue manager, a coterie of publicists and other handlers keep assuring you “their car is only ten minutes away” (in your experience, the car—whoever’s car it might be—is always just ten minutes away). And then finally the talent pulls up five minutes after the scheduled showtime. “Sorry, there’ll be no time for questions, they’re just going to walk straight into the theatre,” the manager says, wearing the same smile. Sure enough, Director Barry Levinson, also of Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam, breezes by without so much as a perfunctory nod to the thespy prowess of his cast, or the power of the text that inspired the film. Costar Greta Gerwig takes a few snaps outside, then somehow, in bright pink, manages to slip in without making a stir. And, bringing up the rear, the man of the hour shoots by—a black-suited, vaguely Pacino-shaped blur, his neck scarf flapping behind him. Sometimes, so it goes. This type of thing might be the real humbling.