Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Manglehorn": a reclusive grandad sinks into a world of lost loves and attachments, as the world comes knocking

Manglehorn”  (2014, David Gordon Green) gives us Al Pacino in another lonesome role, this time as a somewhat schizoid loner grandpa who runs a locksmith shop in Texas and lives alone with his cat.  He does relate reasonably well with emergency customers, as shown in an early scene with a car lockout and a child inside.

He hasn’t gotten over his obsession with a lost female love, and has a stack of “return to sender” letters.  Pathetic, perhaps. He meets a bank teller Dawn (Holly Hunter) who will be confused when he dines wirh her but talks about the old girl friend (a no-no).  But his son Jacob (Chris Messina) is a go-getter, who has mastered the “always be closing” salesmanship of pressuring and manipulating customers.  (Remember “The 100 Mile Rule”?)  

The plot develops as the cat gets sick (from swallowing one of the locksmith's keys) and needs surgery, forcing Manglehorn to spend most of his savings.  Jacob takes him to lunch, and Manglehorn acts put down.  But later Jacob gets in trouble with the fibbies, has his assets frozen, and needs to turn to dear old Dad, who has nothing. Despite his reticence, Manglehorn is challenged to act like a grandad. Yet it was the outgoing son who lacked moral compass.  The cat starts to become more of a character toward the end, too. 
The official site is here.  (IFC)

The film is available from Netflix or can be rented on YouTube for $3.99

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