Letters to the Stars: Dear Al Pacino…

Art & Culture


Dear Al Pacino,
If you don’t pack it in soon, you’re in severe danger of pissing your reputation away – although it may be too late already.
Let me just list some of the Grade A turkeys you have appeared in since the dawn of the new millennium – Righteous Kill, Ocean’s 13, 88 Minutes, Two For The Money, Gigli, People I Know, Simone. On the credit side, there is Merchant Of Venice (you were an excellent Shylock) and Angels In America, where your performance as Roy Cohn reminded us what a great actor you are/were. But those two bright lights in a sea of murky fog are films that virtually no one saw. To the present generation, you look like a guy who hasn’t noticed he’s 70, and is still behaving like a 35 year old, in his tough leather jacket, his ruffled hair (dyed, I assume) and speaking in that peculiar way which involves talking loudly every so often.
I know the argument. What’s a guy to do? Retire and be bored? Or stick at it and hope a good film comes along? I’m sure it’s not the money that drives you; just the need to be working, to be in the public eye and on the map. But the films you’re making today overshadow the older stuff which deserves immortality. We don’t want to forget that extraordinary pair of films, Godfather 1 and 2, in which Michael Corleone degenerates from a warm and idealistic young man to a cold-eyed killer whose family are his enemies. Nor we do we want to associate the star of Dog Day Afternoon with the guy who goes “ Hoo Ha.” You are still talked about as one of the greatest actors of all time, but frankly that’s just history. No one making a serious film is going to hire you now, because all they get is the Al Pacino hour, complete with the same old schtick.
Somewhere down the road there’s a remake of Rififi – great idea to remake the best bank job movie of all time – and your stab at Salvador Dali. Hard to say how that would work out. In any case, please forget about playing cops, tough guys, and anything involving you overacting. Find a role worthy of you. Or just collect the pension.

Phil Raby

Front Row Films

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