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Al Pacino at his best. Never seen a better drama that this. The background music is wonderful and the sentiment flows through out the movie. Charlie simms the ideal student with excellent integrity has some trouble going on in the university. He has to work in the weekends , find a part time job for his livelihood. He is a merit student and is excellent with his academics. To his dismay(initially) his weekend job turns out to be more adventurous than he could ever imagine. With his troubles already at peak in the university, his adventure turns out to be learning lesson for him and also to the person who is none other than Al Pacino(blind retired army officer). The whole movie glitters with exuberance. The last 30 mins are quite remarkable and to be honest the heart of the movie especially the climax scene. To be frank i saw the climax about 20 odd times :) and i dare say that every man on the earth will like it.
After twenty years as an A-list star, Al Pacino took home an Oscar for
his role in "Scent of a Woman". He plays blind Lt. Col. Frank Slade,
who talks like he's ready to tear your throat apart, but has a heart of
gold. Sound like a cliché? Well it's not. "Scent of a Woman" succeeds
where so many movies have failed, probably because Al Pacino is in the
lead role (almost anyone else very likely would have turned the
character into a maudlin dweeb).
Anyway, the story has college student Charlie Sims (Chris O'Donnell) agreeing to be a caretaker for Col. Slade, and the colonel takes Charlie on an adventure that he'll never forget. Along the way, a rather unusual event happens at Charlie's college (that scene will most likely make you at least giggle if not break out into laughter), and the colonel sees no choice but to get involved.
Among other things, this movie has a number of people who weren't yet famous but would make their marks in later years: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Charlie's friend George, James Rebhorn as the dean, and even Frances Conroy several years before "Six Feet Under". "Scent of a Woman" is like a breath of fresh air in the stench of so many lousy movies. Which brings us to the question: why did director Martin Brest have to direct that god-awful "Gigli"?
The sentiment in "Scent of a Woman" does not feel false or forced - it is
yearned for. This is the first movie in a long time where i've not found
myself looking at how long there is left about half way through. I didn't
want it to end, and now its over i have this lingering affection for it. I
knew this would be a beautiful movie, no matter the outcome, when Colonel
Frank Slade (Pacino) lets his newly hired assistant Charlie Simms (Chris
O'Donnel) know, as they sit at a lush meal, in an expensive restaurant,
where they came from their hotel, the Walforf-Astoria, that while they are
in New York, Slade plans to drive a ferrari, sleep with a beautiful woman,
and lay down on his bed and blow his brains out.
This is a movie about what there is to love in life - what reasons there are to live. And for Colonel Slade, above all things, that is making love to a woman - and a distant second, driving a ferrari.
Feminists may find themselves uncomfortable when seeing this movie - because it indulges in a traditional stereotype of women, putting them up on a pedestal, so that they're so special they can not even be spoken to as a man can speak to a man. In many ways (contrary to what you might think) this is a man's picture. Its about the brotherhood between men, where the highest virtue is integrity; and its about man's love of women. In fact, women only pop up in this picture to serve the needs of the male characters, and the male scriptwriters. The most memorable of these cameos, of course, is Gabrielle Anwar, in the magestic (and famous) tango sequence. It surprised me that Anwar didn't return, until i realised that she was only there to dance with Slade, and what was important was the relationship between Slade and Simms.
So although this movie is very much about men, and is very old-fashioned in its value system, it is these things in an affectionate way. Since women consider this a chick flick (i think), then perhaps they like the way they look through men's eyes?
In any case, this is a special movie, which leaves you with a lingering feeling for it.
Wow, it's boring, slow, mundane and uninteresting.
What else is there to say? Maybe it's just me - but I feel that Al Pacino should be pretty much given gangster roles or edgy roles...not roles with preppy kids, trying to explain life to them.
It's overdone monologue which means to protect the dignity of a honour student over some trivial event expands into something so ludicrous that you would think you are watching a serious courtroom drama with something so insanely intense that somebody's life is at stake - while in reality, it's some preppy kid who may or may not have some some idiotic prank.
Big EFFIN deal! Overblown on all counts with nothing to hold it together.
I'm waiting for his return as a gunslinging gangster causing carnage and snorting huge amounts of drugs.
In spite of the good acting, especially by Mr. Pacino (has he ever delivered
a poor acting job?) I can't possibly say that I found "Scent of a Woman" a
good movie. The story isn't bad, and there definitely are some very good
moments, but about halfway through the novelty wears off, and what's left is
a predictable and somewhat sentimental Hollywood vehicle, in the vein of "A
Beautiful Mind" or the "English Patient".
The largest problem is that it's all terribly overdone: the movie keeps stressing and stressing how blind and depressed Al Pacino's character is and how great he used to be, leading to some pretty ridiculous scenes of a blind man driving a car and an quite ludicruous speech in which Al basically says it's OK to lie and cover things up. It's all so exaggerated: they keep stressing why it's supposed to be touching and it just gets annoying. After a while I just waiting for the movie to end: it had made it's point but it kept going on and on and on. I was glad when it was finally over.
** out of *** stars (mainly since it's acted very well).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Certainly in the top 10 of the most overrated films ever made. Colorless collegiate Chris O'Donnell gets stuck babysitting volatile,loud-mouthed blind veteran Al Pacino on a trip to NYC. This minimal storyline is unbearably expanded into a meandering, pointless 3-hour dirge of epic proportions. There is a frightfully uninteresting subplot, which provides the film's coda concerning whether O'Donnell should rat out the privileged obnoxious students responsible for vandalizing a snooty professor's car, but given that the students are worthless, the professor boorish and O'Donnell so vacant, it is hard to develop much interest. Instead, the wonder lies in watching Al Pacino (in his worst and only Oscar-winning performance) scream, sputter, gesticulate, cuss, yell "Hooha" after every other line, chew huge chunks out of the NYC scenery and basically provide an atrocious performance that contains no traces of subtlety or introspection for the entire running time. The actor responsible in giving us some of the best acting of the 70s in The Godfather films, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, etc., gets rewarded for his most execrable work? That's Hollywood for you! As the only other cast member of note, O'Donnell lowers his eyes to floor, mumbles his lines and basically allows Pacino to trod all over him. By the climax, when Pacino takes to the stage at O'Donnell's Ivy League School to defend his honor (over a ludicrous issue) and starts cussing and threatening to burn the place down with a flame-thrower, you know the film is utterly worthless because in reality security would have immediately escorted him to a padded cell somewhere. Absolute junk!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Scent of a Woman is one of those rare movies that I will spend years
apart from viewings and fall all over in love with it once it begins
This beautiful no, creation film had so many attributes, it's hard to sum them all up in one review. So many, that this film could be studied as part of a film class's curriculum. It would be easy to just compliment the cinematography, score, dialogue, originality, deep comedy that holds up more than 20 years from its original release, suspense, dramatic themes, depth and character spot on interactions. And while all of those were absolutely astonishing in this fantastic film and each could be dissected in said film class, my favorite aspects of this film are Pacino's iconic role, the remaining acting and the big finale.
I used to think that the Oscar Pacino won for this role was a "pity" one since both he's had plenty (more than, actually) of extremely fine performances prior and the Academy does, in fact, do that, which is a wrong move. But, taking aside all his previous excellence, he was above and beyond great here as recently blinded Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade.
While he had me both cracking up and witnessing greatness, the rest of the cast was also very good, namely Chris O'Donnell's quiet, but deep teen role and a just-noticed-by-me Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
And finally of my favorites, and one I hope to completely memorize one day I have about 80% of it down, is the big, climatic showdown. I've already listened to it so many dozens of times that it's hard not to shout out at the screen line by line of what Frank is preaching. (I did, this time too. I had to reverse back to enjoy it without my own interrupting.) Now, I don't 100% agree with Frank, or Charlie's stance if you hadn't seen this by now, I will not spoil it but Frank's passion and drive and Charlie's uncompromising ethics made me stand behind them one hundred percent.
Besides all that, it was a fantastically written scene of heart, humor and depth. It ranks up there with Jack Nicholson's A Few Good Men courtroom scene and Pacino's own The Devil's Advocate's Devilish finale speech.
The movie breaks into two separate story lines: One involves angry ex-military Frank Slade and his free spirit bucket list in NYC and prep-school on a scholarship teen Charlie Simms's dilemma on whether or not to rat out fellow students.
Charlie reluctantly accepts a "babysitting" job of caring for Frank over Thanksgiving so he can earn the plane fare to see his parents over Christmas. Only, he didn't know the "easy money" would require chasing blind Frank all over New York City and beyond.
The movie's hilarious, touching and makes me emotional every time I watch it. I laugh hard on the lines, marvel on how imperfect Frank is but we still believe in everything he says and enjoy the crisp scenery and movement of the story. Truly, this is one of my all-time favorites.
I rated other movies that were cinematically better with a lower rate.
I believe that this film has some flaws, not to be denied. Some
clichés, like the applause at the end, the bad guy being good on the
inside and so on. I don't want to see this side. A movie doesn't have
to be perfect, it should be like a human, with ups and downs, and I
will evaluate by considering how high are the ups.
In scent of a woman, the ups are high up in the sky, the story and the acting are legendary, absolutely magnificent and you are left with a feeling that makes you want to fight. Yes, that's right, makes you want to fight, against injustice, against cowardice, against...and that made me remember instantly about Mr. Smith goes to Washington. The supreme idealist, the child we should all be like.
I feel this movie is one that should be somewhere in the universal patrimony of humanity because it contains and explains in one story all the themes of humanity, all our fears and ideals: death, idealism vs materialism, honesty, richness vs. poorness, the mysterious course of life, illness, frustration, war, child innocence, sincerity, vulgarity vs academy and I could go on with this...
It seems to me that all acting was great, except maybe the principal of the school that looked like a cartoon character. I don't even want to remind the flaws cause within my eyes this movie was flawless. There is no flaw, there is just the idea left deep in my head, in my soul. Only this and nothing more.
Adapted from the Italian film version from Giovanni Arpino, "Scent of a Woman" tells the story of Chris O'Donnell as a preparatory student, who takes a weekend job, taking care of a blind, medically retired Army officer, portrayed brilliantly by Al Pacino, scoring his first ever Oscar win for Best Actor. Director Martin Brest and screenwriter Bo Goldman has perfectly made a visionary portrait of life, hope, friendship, and honesty. When I first started watching, I immediately realized that this movie was better than I thought it would be. I was drawn into the clever well-written dialogue from Bo Goldman, and the stand-out performances from the entire cast. But the shining cast member is Al Pacino, delivering one of the greatest performances of his career, that rightfully deserves his Best Actor Oscar. Although sadly, this is the only award he has won in his entire career, his award win will finally make others realize how excellent an actor Pacino is. But besides Pacino and O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar, and a young Philip Seymour Hoffman, round up the supporting cast with some clever, if necessary, performances. Delivered with some powerful sequences, provided with some beautiful directing, wonderful writing, and insanely wonderful music, "Scent of a Woman" is one of the many masterpieces of Al Pacino's career. Although the 157-minute run time seemed to drag a bit, with some scenes that needed to be in the movie or not, that were just sort of stuck, that didn't ruin the movie's true potential, luckily. Since 1992 was considered the year of the woman, "Scent of a Woman" might not have been a movie that was all about women, but it does share a wonderful and beautifully made tale, through the case of an insanely enjoyable motion picture. "Scent of a Woman", in my review, "immensing and groundbreaking, Pacino is brilliant".
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.
Movies often have lines that become part of our culture. The line from
this one is hoo-ha!
This film may look plain but it isn't: it's a very strong one, showing us how someone who lost all faith in life (Frank Al Pacino) can learn from someone whose life may end by doing something right (Charlie Chris O'Donnell): not selling himself for his future. At the same time, Charlie will learn that sometimes you shouldn't trust everything people tell you: usually it is easier to speak the right thing than actually DO the right thing. It is a beautiful film, to be watched peacefully: believe me, if in the beginning you will wonder how it is possible that someone like Colonel Frank Slade, by the end you will like him more that you thought possible.
SCENT OF A WOMAN (1992) is an outstanding piece of work! The legendary Al Pacino FINALLY took home the coveted Best Actor Oscar for his brilliant work in this film and he shouldn't have to apologize for it. Yes, he should have won for his work in THE GODFATHER and SCARFACE, but too many actors to be named have been sadly overlooked for their best work.
Pacino perfectly essays the role of retired Colonel Frank Slade, who was compelled to retirement being blinded during duty(due to his own stupidity and drinking habit). Stuck living with his niece and her family in their guest house and drawing monthly stipends from the government, Col. Slade is an embittered man of late middle age. Slade's niece has hired local boys' school student Charlie Simms (young Chris O'Donnell in a very underrated, genuine performance) to take care of Frank for the weekend during the Thanksgiving holidays. Slade opts to take Charlie with him on a weekend of luxury and reckless abandon in New York. Meanwhile, Charlie must wrestle with the moral dilemma of "should he or shouldn't he" squeal on his fellow classmates, who he along with another student saw commit a punishable act prior to the holidays. Charlie is to go before the disciplinary board upon his return. Charlie and Frank are two extraordinary actors in the film, "Scent of a Woman." They are a perfect pair, one who has always stood firmly for what he believes in and the other one who is learning how to do just that.
Still of Al Pacino and Gabrielle Anwar in Scent Of A Woman
Al Pacino is extraordinary, he steals every scene he is in, truly crafting a superb and incredible performance. One of his greatest performances ever and in the history of cinema. Chris O'Donnell is marvelous, a great performance. It's absolutely unforgettable and flawless. The supporting cast is golden, too .Gabrielle Anwar (charming as the beautiful young lady that Slade gets to tango with!), the always reliable James Rebhorn (pitch perfect as the stern headmaster of the boys' school), a young-looking Phillip Seymour Hoffman (terrific as Charlie's shifty "best friend" at the boy's school, who was his fellow witness), Richard Venture (as Frank's older brother W.R. Slade), a young Bradley Whitford (wonderful as Frank's resentful nephew Randy in my favorite scene of the film!), Ron Eldard (winning as the NY cop who stops Slade and Charlie for speeding), and a young and vibrant Frances Conroy (as an English teacher at Charlie's school who I always imagine that Frank ends up with!).
There are great scenes in "Scent of a Woman" from the ruckus at Thanksgiving dinner when Frank takes Charlie, both uninvited, to his brother's house where the relatives don't think much of him to at one point driving a Ferrari despite being blind. But the most wonderful moments are the few on the dance floor. The scene of Frank(Al) and Donna(Gabrielle) doesn't get out of my thoughts. From the moment he catches her perfume, through the introduction, till the sweetest tango dance ever. Of course, the choice for Donna Gabrielle Anwar, is perfect, she plays the shy (very) pretty woman very good. The scene when the colonel wants to shoot himself and suddenly decides to shoot the boy,too is brilliant. The fight between the two men -as well as Charlie's attempt to convince the colonel give up his plan- is full of suspense and very well structured, so it's impossible to anticipate how the things will work out. The climax scene in the disciplinary meeting, though a bit clichéd, is wonderful. Pacino's speech is absolutely amazing. He delivers it with a panache.
The big lesson from SCENT OF A WOMAN is about the true meaning of honor. I like the dichotomy of Slade's situation with Charlie's and how Charlie, the student, inadvertently teaches Slade a valuable life lesson, that through the toughest of times and situations, it is the human SPIRIT that must remain intact if one is to truly LIVE!
Riveting, electrifying and satisfying. A magnificent film. A heartfelt, funny and outstanding experience. Powerful and very touching throughout. An excellent movie in every way. Superb storytelling and stunningly crafted. A towering and masterful drama. Wickedly funny and spectacular. A film you cant turn away from. You cant stop but smile when you think of this movie. A two and a half hour pleasure from start to finish.
Nominated for Best Picture, directed by Oscar nominated director Martin Brest (MIDNIGHT RUN, BEVERLY HILLS COP) and starring the one and only Al Pacino in his Oscar-winning role, SCENT OF A WOMAN is a film to enjoy over and over! I refer it to everyone, everyone who want to watch a beautiful movie with great performances. I rate it 9 out of 10.
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