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For the most part, "Scent of a Woman" is standard Hollywood fare, featuring
a "heartwarming" and "uplifting" story about personal growth, the strength
of friendship, and the discovery that life really isn't so bad after all.
The plot involves a young student (Chris O'Donnell), who agrees to watch
over a blind and embittered ex-colonel (Al Pacino) for Thanksgiving
He then goes on to teach the older man a few lessons about life, while
learning just as much himself. If this sort of relationship sounds
it is because it has been the subject of countless other films (think
"Finding Forrester," for instance). "Scent of a Woman" is at least
redeemed by the presence a few memorable moments, such as the scenes
involving the Tango and the Ferrari.
What really sets this film apart, though, is Al Pacino's brilliant performance. Although he tends to overact on occasion (as in some of his other post-1970s films, such as "Scarface"), he still manages to reveal the complexities of his character in a way that no other actor could have managed. While Chris O'Donnell and James Rebhorn are fine in their roles, it is Al Pacino who gives us a reason to watch this otherwise unremarkable film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Few characters in cinema history are so well defined, so memorable and
fascinating as Col. Frank Slade, miraculously played by Al Pacino.
Slade broke my heart, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I hate
"three-hankys" and overly sentimental "chick flicks", so I kept
avoiding "Scent of a Woman". When I've finally watched it recently, it
didn't strike me as a "chick flick" though. Pacino's performance really
moved me. He never lets the story slip into cheap sentimentalism,
because his character is heart-wrenchingly real.
C. O'Donnel is bland and uninteresting, but that's the way it was meant for his character to be. He's only a catalyst for Slade, a blank book waiting to be written. After all, he's just a 17 year-old.
I love it when Hollywood is sending out a positive, moral message, even if the delivery is flawed. The ending of "Scent of a Woman" kinda spoils the story's realism, but nothing can diminish Pacino's brilliant performance.
Al Pacino is one of the best actors who has ever lived, and his 1992
film, Scent Of A Woman is one of the best movies that he has ever made.
Scent Of A Woman is a breathtaking and outstanding masterpiece of a
movie, it is one of Al Pacino's best performances! Before I go on,
here's a little bit of what this movie is about. A prep school student
needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at
all what he anticipated. I was expecting this movie to be good, but I
was not expecting it to be outstanding, and it was more than
outstanding, it was absolutely breathtaking! When I watched this movie,
I did not know what I was to see, I was to see a masterpiece, and
that's what I saw, a masterpiece of a movie! Scent Of A Woman is one
movie that once you watch it once, you will never, ever, ever, ever,
forget it as long as you live. In terms of Al Pacino movies, this ranks
right up there with The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface, and
Dog Day Afternoon. Pacino made great movies back then, and he continues
to make great movies, and hey, he's a great actor.
As you probably know already, my biggest praise for this movie goes to none other than Al Pacino. Al Pacino shines in his Academy Award winning performance! This marks the first time that he ever won an Oscar, and his win was a well deserved one. But while I do believe that he deserved the Oscar he won, I think that he should have won for The Godfather Part II. As a matter of fact, he was better in The Godfather Part II than he was in here. But that does not negate the fact that his performance in this movie was outstanding! Chris O'Donnell also deserves praise, for his performance was also a great one. There aren't too many good young actors, but when he made this movie back in 1992, O'Donnell shined just as much as Al Pacino did! But getting back to Pacino, he was in a class by himself, his performance was without a doubt one of the best performances of his entire film career!
So all in all, Scent Of A Woman is another movie that I can honestly say is one of the best movies I've ever seen. It is yet another film in the long line of great movies that I've been watching for the past few months. Scent Of A Woman stands out in so many ways, the acting, the script, the directing, the pace, and everything else that a great movie should have! I know I have been saying the same thing with a lot of other movies that I've been watching, but I can't help it. For the past few months, I've been watching a lot of movies that I would call great movies. Well anyway, this movie is marvelous, if you haven't watched it yet, then what are you waiting for, watch it. No kidding, you've got to watch this movie, it will astonish you, and not to mention that Pacino will astonish you with his acting! Scent Of A Woman is a movie that needs to be seen, as it certainly is a great movie starring a very great actor...the great, Al Pacino, who certainly deserved the Oscar that he won.
First of all, let's settle the Oscar issue: For Al, the wait is long
undue and as a matter of principle, I don't support awards for any
movie starring disability, especially if it's biography. About Al's
blindness, I will just say that sometimes, he overplays his hands but
from start to finish, he's exceptional with his eyes: he really seems
to see nothing.
Beyond, this movie combines two themes that are special to me: boarding school and NYC. It's not often that you can have a movie that excels in those categories simultaneously: It's as much about a student's life as a trip in uptown NYC.
As a lot of Al's late movie, he embodies a fatherly figure for a young disoriented. But, here, the cards are a bit different: Al can be as supportive as he is stern and very difficult. If he speaks not very clearly, you can guess that he has a great life behind and you understand that Al is in a fight against time that he can't win.
In front of him, O'Donnell is perfect as the All-American boy. Thus, it's the delicate meeting of courage and integrity and it's really moving to see the two characters taking each other's influence.
When I was summoned by superiors to take a blame for helping my colleague., I wish I could have delivered Al's speech but at last, i have O'Donnell honor!
Adapted by Bo Goldman from the novel Il buio e il miele (Italian:
Darkness and Honey) by Giovanni Arpino and from the 1974 screenplay for
the movie Profumo di donna by Ruggero Maccari and Dino Risi, Martin
Brest's 'Scent Of A Woman' is evergreen classic from the early 90's.
Ho-Haa all the way man!
'Scent Of A Woman' tells the story of a young kid and his weekend boss, a blind retired Colonel. The film works big time, mainly because it has it's heart the right place. With a running time of over 156 minutes, here's a film that holds your attention from start to end.
Pacino is a legend and rightly so. He's incredible, 'Scent Of A Woman' works because he really lets you down. He won the Academy-Award for Best Actor, and Ho-Haa he deserved it! Chris O'Donnell also pitches in a very mature performance, this is his best work as an actor. Philip Seymour Hoffman is efficient, as always.
On the whole, 'Scent Of A Woman' is a winner all the way, a marvelous film. Two Big Thumbs Up! Ho-Haa!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really did not know what to think coming into this film. The title,
"Scent of a Woman", certainly does not really give the viewer much idea
of what this film is all about.
The audience immediately feels for Charlie who honestly does the best he can to do what is right, but luck does not usually shine in his direction. So he meets up with Frank who certainly does not give him any leniency from the get-go. After a while, Frank becomes a father figure to Charlie and the two learn from, and help each other out.
The plot does not sound extremely original, that is until you factor in the fact that Frank is blind and ready to give up on life. Al Pacino really makes this film with his over-the-top portrayal of the colonel. He is a very interesting character and it is neat to see him interact with different people.
One little problem I had with the movie was the courtroom scene. I know in some private schools they have these mock courtroom situations to deal with disciplinary actions, but this one seemed a bit too far fetched.
This is a great movie to work and has the unique variable of someone who cannot see to make it stand out more than others.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This one is a masterpiece. First of all because Al Pacino cuts a
character he is in no way close to being in real life. He plays a
retired lieutenant-colonel which is nothing, but a blind one. His
blindness is the symbol, and result, of both a heroic career and a sad
end because he was passed over for general. This mixture of so many
emotions and feelings and frustrations is marvelously conveyed by the
actor. His tone, his behavior, his general stand, his unpredictable
reactions, his decision to leave this world and his second decision to
stay can be read in the way he speaks, the words he uses, the
expressions his blind face carries, his attitudes toward other people,
etc. He is a millionaire in emotions. But it is a masterpiece for so
many other reasons that I am only going to quote a few. First it is a
journey, the journey of a prep school teenager, a student on a
scholarship mind you, from Oregon to Cambridge, Massachusetts, then to
New York, a round trip with the colonel he is taking care of for the
Thanksgiving long week end. This journey, and particularly the lap to
New York and the subsequent events, are an initiation. The young chap
is to learn what principles are in life and that you have to stand by
them, especially if you are poor and fragile in body and social status:
then be strong in soul and mind and spirit. Your ethics are your only
asset and power in life. He also has to learn how to understand his
colonel companion and feel when he has decided to send him buy cigars
while he is putting an end to his life and the gun loaded with his
bullets are an impressive key to the solitary tower of growing up with
death in front of you. He saves that man with a crazy idea of a ride,
for a blind man, to drive a Ferrari in the Bronx or somewhere under the
Brooklyn Bridge, and with all the frills of such a ride including the
cop who catches him speeding but does not realize he is talking to a
blind man. But this film is also a film about the elite education these
Ivy League prep schools provide the young men of today with to prepare
them to be the leaders of tomorrow. There I will not hint too much at
that side of the story. Let's say an act of vandalism which is a
student prank and nothing more, leads the headmaster into menacing the
two student witnesses (our poor one and a rich kid) with the worst
punishment going as far as trying to buy the cooperation of the poor
student. The final disciplinary hearing is absurd in its logic. The
three culprits go through because there is no clear cut witness, the
rich one, with his father, pretends he did not have his contacts on but
gives the three names with a maybe, and the poor one, Charlie by the
way, refuses point blank to be a fink, a stool pigeon. And there the
intervention of his would-be-and-could-have-been-suicidee colonel saves
the day. That you will have to find out by yourself. In many ways it is
a lot stronger than the Dead Poets Society and the drama is avoided. It
is better because it is the vision of a poor scholarship student and
not the vision of one rich kid, in recent society and not in the 1920s
or so. The point of view makes it a lot more powerful about society and
courage, even if less dramatic as for the relations between the rich
kid and his father. The loser all along is the headmaster who did not
know how to recognize a prank and over-estimated it into an act of
vandalism. Yes that kind of repressive attitude produces soul cripples
and there is no prosthesis for that type of amputation.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
This is the best performance by Al Pacino. He made an extraordinary character, a blind Colonel Frank Slade (war veteran) who is sad and lonely man before he met young Charlie a Baird student. They both created something special. Unique connection between innocent teen and damaged adult. In time they learn from each other and become friends, sharing their problems. "Scent of a Woman" is very profound and full of beautiful scenes. For example when Al Pacino is dancing tango with gorgeous girl or driving Ferrari in the New York. The blind man needs a guide in life like a teenager needs support in his school. Amazing speech about twisted reality where we live, where we must choose our destiny. This movie is truly worth watching and it will give you hope. It also gives me a strength to live on, not give up and just be myself. I love movies. There is only one film like this and in my opinion it is a classic. Remarkable art and deep dialogues make this movie a top one.
In Scent of a Woman Young Chris O'Donnell at the Baird Prep School on a
scholarship, has to earn the money he needs for a round-trip back to
Oregon to see his family at Christmas break. He takes a job posting off
a bulletin board at school advertising for a companion to a blind man.
The blind man turns out to be Al Pacino whose sister and her family
want to unload him so they can go away for Thanksgiving.
Pacino is no helpless invalid however. He's a former lieutenant colonel in the army and used to being obeyed on command. But he's facing a crisis in his life, he's just tired of being an invalid and dependent on people.
O'Donnell's having a crisis too. Headmaster James Rebhorn feels he and another student, Philip Seymour Hoffman, saw an act of vandalism committed on the school grounds. It goes against O'Donnell's grain to be an informant. But these other kids, Hoffman included come from old money and can buy their way out of most things. If the ax has to fall as Pacino tells him, it's going to fall his way.
The film is a touching story involving a generation gap of values that is bridged when Pacino and O'Donnell discover a genuine respect and affection for each other. Pacino's iconoclastic retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade finally won for him an Oscar for Best Actor that his peers had not voted him, despite being nominated 7 previous times in both the lead and supporting categories. In fact that same year Pacino was also up in the Supporting Actor category for Glengarry Glen Ross.
Chris O'Donnell had a breakout performance as the young preppie who has far more integrity than his richer and more privileged classmates. And Philip Seymour Hoffman is great as the kid who rats under the financial umbrella of daddy's millions.
Scent of a Woman is a great part for Al Pacino, not my favorite role for him. That one for me is ....And Justice For All. Still this award like the one given to Paul Newman for The Color of Money is more for Pacino's lifetime of artistic achievement in the cinema. And that's one artistic life anyone could envy.
One of Pacino greatest performance since dog day afternoon.
anyone who likes the Italian version must see this movie , this version doesn't disappoint at all.
Al Pacino gives another dimension to the character blindness with a little humor and bitterness.
2 thing that bother me is: 1.some flawed acting moment by Chris Od'onnel.
2. The Ambivalence with Pacino character during the start of the movie and how its end.
overall this movie is a must-see for Pacino fans and anyone that love movies.
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