Al Pacino is the master of Manglehorn

UNCSA School of Filmmaking graduate and River- Run International Film Festival Emerging Master recipient David Gordon Green scores again with Manglehorn, a quirky and offbeat character study that Al Pacino plays with all the mastery for which he’s renowned.

It’s a different, disheveled Pacino than we’re generally used to seeing, playing the title role of an eccentric, melancholy locksmith shambling and shuffling through life in Austin, Texas – still pining for the lost love of his life (who wasn’t his wife). Nevertheless, the actor gets a few opportunities to unleash those quintessential Pacino outbursts. It’s always been fun to watch him blow his stack.

Working with a number of UNCSA familiars, including cinematographer Tim Orr and producers Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Craig Zobel, Green again displays his affinity for actors, not only in Pacino’s excellent turn, but also the performances of Holly Hunter, as a bank teller sweet on the grumpy Manglehorn, and particularly filmmaker Harmony Korine, in an uproarious appearance as an obliviously obnoxious tanning-spa mogul who was coached by Manglehorn as a youth and can’t help insulting him repeatedly to this day.

Needless to say, this ultimately and inevitably rouses the ire of Manglehorn, yielding yet another entertaining outburst from its first-rate star – and most deservedly so.

– Manglehorn, the closing-night film of the 17th annual RiverRun International Film Festival, will be screened 7:30 p.m. Sunday at UNCSA (main), with director and School of Filmmaking graduate David Gordon Green in attendance