Here's the low down on the book from Barnes and Noble:
Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth’s startling new book. One of the leading American stage actors of his generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his assurance. His Falstaff and Peer Gynt and Vanya, all his great roles, "are melted into air, into thin air." When he goes onstage he feels like a lunatic and looks like an idiot. His confidence in his powers has drained away; he imagines people laughing at him; he can no longer pretend to be someone else. "Something fundamental has vanished." His wife has gone, his audience has left him, his agent can’t persuade him to make a comeback.Into this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation bursts a counterplot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day’s journey into night, told with Roth’s inimitable urgency, bravura, and gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of our solidity, all our life’s performances—talent, love, sex, hope, energy, reputation—are stripped off.
In the film, Greta Gerwig plays young, star-struck lesbian whose adoration gives the fallen star a lift but, as you can see from the trailer, their relationship doesn't exactly strike calm in the hearts of those around them.
The solid cast includes Dianne Wiest, Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin and Dan Hedaya; Wiest and Grodin while never huge Hollywood names, are strong, immensely talented actors who have been turning our stellar performances for years. Barry Levinson directs from a screenplay by Buck Henry and Michal Zebede. While Zebede (Devious Maids) is a newbie, both Levinson and Henry have had long, illustrious, some would say iconic, careers. While he's never stopped working you might say Levinson's glory days were the 80's and 90's when he gave us the glorious Avalon, Diner, Rain Man, The Natural, Bugsy, Sleepers, Wag the Dog, Good Morning Vietnam. Buck Henry's writing career going all the way back to 1960's with the television show Get Smart, The Graduate, Catch-22, What's Up Doc? and The Owl and the Pussycat among his screenplay credits. (Small world department; I just mentioned playing the prostitute in a scene from The Owl and the Pussycast over on where I write MY memoirs!) I'm very, very excited to see what these undeniable genius types bring to the material.
Here's the trailer. Tell me, doesn't it look AMAZING? Remember, if you want to read the book first, The Humbling comes out January 23 in theaters and VOD.