12 hours ago
By the end of a rollicking evening, I felt as if I’d discovered the secret to Pacino’s success. One reason why he is so energising onscreen—and the reason why he can seem so hammy—is that he is a natural comedian who almost never does comedies. That’s why the montage that opened the show got such an uproarious response: it was a series of punch lines, each delivered with the brio and comic timing that Pacino demonstrated in the flesh at the Apollo. Never mind that the films themselves were dramas and thrillers, Pacino’s characters were invariably playing for laughs, kidding around, relishing the effect they were having on an audience. This zest for performance is there when Sonny whips up the crowd by shouting “Attica!” in “Dog Day Afternoon”. It’s there when the diabolical John Milton teases Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) in “Devil’s Advocate”, and when Bobby flirts with Helen (Kitty Winn) in “The Panic in Needle Park”. And, yes, it’s there when Tony Montana introduces his little friend in “Scarface”. It’s notable, too, that in two of Pacino’s most recent films, “The Humbling” and “Danny Collins”, he is playing an actor and a rock star, respectively. His characters love to show off almost as much as he does. I like it on stage, he told us with an impish twinkle on Friday. “I’m at home here. As you can see. AL PACINO, THE SERIOUS FUNNYMAN by Nicholas Barber (May 2015) for 1843 Magazine. Pacino—One Night Only, the two-hour question-and-answer session with Al was hosted by film critic Mark Kermode.