Tagging Al Pacino in
time. The opening sequence quickly sets the theme for the whole movie. Ungraying his grizzled beard, Simon (Pacino) is reciting Shakespeare to his mirror image
who talks back to him with observations about his personal life. When the director calls out “three minutes to curtain call” Simon rushes to the stage, gets lost and locks himself out of the theatre. When he frantically bangs on the door to be let in, the stage manager has no idea who he is and refuses him entrance. In a short time, the audience realizes this is a dream. But it is another one of an actor’s worst nightmares.
Pacino calls Philip Roth his favorite author— he's thinking about an actor losing his talent. Well, that is not quite what an actor goes through. Both Buck Henry and Barry Levinson and I got together a few times, talked. I think what we came up with, the spin being humorous, there's some fun here. There is so much of "King Lear" in this movie, but the classic line, for me, from "Lear," is when he rages, "I am a man more sinned against than sinning," and you see Simon as a man more sinning than sinned against. The screening was hosted by Sharon Waxman’s The Wrap at the Landmark theatre in Los Angeles . The audience, a whole cabbage patch of intelligent industry insiders, not overdosed on Botox and bling. was deeply appreciative and gave Pacino a three minute standing ovation.