Scent of a Woman (1992) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
331 Reviews
Sort by:
Old Men Won't Cry- Scent of A Woman
billion_mucks26 November 2007
Why is Pacino such a beast acting? I'll tell you why. His passion. Passion that overwhelms all surrounding him. His voice starts roaring and he forgets that he is Al Pacino. He suddenly becomes his character, he stops seeing around him and he is now a prisoner in his role.

The movie is about Pacino. His acting is grand, superb, majestic, heart-wrenching, deep, emotional, so forth. His portrayal of a blind man dangling in the rope of his life, is not only credible but immensely touching. We see directly, through his crystalline performance all of the pain that griefs on his character. Any other actor would have given a corny, over the top performance. Pacino is the Ace.

Chris O' Donnell gives also a fantastic performance, shy and unsure will start to understand Colonel Frank Slade in a short trip that will change their future lives. This movie is not Hollywood Rubish. Martin Brest directs a movie that hits no cheap feelings and floods on great emotions that immediately contact the viewer. You have to be rock solid to not be touched.

A masterpiece, one of the best studies on man's desperation, helped by wonderful performances and and a stirring, poignant script, with no wasted lines. You will raise goosebumps with scenes like the tango scene, you will laugh, you will cry, you will feel empathy, sorrow, anger. Isn't this movie the Holy Grail of Emotions.

Don't miss it. One of a kind.
118 out of 124 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Modern classic
Altaira9 July 1999
Warning: Spoilers
One of the most overall pleasing movies I've seen, Scent of a Woman wins on all levels--emotional and intellectual. Of course the primary reason it succeeds is Al Pacino, whose Oscar was well-deserved, needless to say. Chris O'Donnell doesn't overplay his part, and in doing so is realistic and natural. The tango scene, the Ferrari scene, the pseudo-courtroom scene are excellent. Pacino is wholly believable, and although at first he seems overly gruff and nasty, we grow to sympathize with him--especially when that twerp Randy insults him cutthroat-style at Thanksgiving. It's obvious that while Slade acts like he doesn't care, his repetitious "hoo-ha" response makes it obvious he does. My favorite line comes during the Ferrari scene (I was laughing so hard when the cop left, failing to realize Slade is blind.) As Slade careens down the street at 70 mph, Charlie yells, "You're going to get us killed!" Slade answers, "Can you blame me? I'm blind!" On that note, Pacino succeeds marvellously in portraying a blind man. We never doubt for a second that he does, in fact, live in total darkness. Yet others, like the cop, probably the spectators in the restaurant in the tango scene, don't realize it. Ironically enough, Slade acts as though he doesn't want to be treated as the proverbial blind man who needs a cane and a guiding arm. However, in the final scene, he emerges with a never-before-seen pair of dark glasses (after which follows the charismatic speech.) I wonder, was this to throw them off guard??

This movie is a modern classic. Some find it too long, but I enjoyed every minute and didn't acutely notice the 2 1/2 hrs gone by. A wonderful film that I recommend to all.
119 out of 132 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Character over glamour
Rick Jones22 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The Scent of a Woman is the kind of film that many would think belongs to a bygone era. While it is frank and contemporary without sugar coating it illustrates the value of character over glitz and how small acts can have long lasting consequences.

The film pits two characters who are diametrical opposites. Al Pacino plays the world weary retired Army Lt. Colonel who through a stupid accident looses his sight and his way of life. Chris Donnelly is a young prep school kid on a scholarship whose way of life may be coming to an end owing to the acts of richer kids at the exclusive prep school who pull a stupid stunt.

The blind Lt. Colonel needs an escort so that he can go to NYC and have a rip roaring time before he makes a fateful decision. The poor preppy needs to earn a few bucks to travel and is in desperate need of some advice on how to get through his crisis at school.

The interplay between the two characters is mind boggling. It is more riveting than the best Grisham novel.

Both characters are asked to make life and death decisions that call for them to reach deep into their inner core. The right decision is unhappily the tougher decision to make.

Two terrific scenes that are not to be missed. The first is in the New York ballroom where the blind Lt. Colonel teaches the actress Miss Anwar to dance the tango. It is so smooth and dramatic that even a couch potato is tempted to reach for the Yellow Pages in search of dance lessons. The second and most profound is the speech that Al Pacino makes in defense of Chris Donnelly at the prep school disciplinary hearing. It has to go down as one of the great orations of all times.

The Scent of a Woman is very satisfying on many levels. The character development is superb, dialogue terrific, glamorous locations and a story line that requires the characters to show themselves to be the people they really are. The film has a lot of funny lines and great drama. This film is almost a 10 out of 10.
157 out of 177 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It.s one of the most beautiful movies ever
Gabriel Irwin12 September 2005
I think this incredible movie leaves a legacy of life, it makes us appreciate life an also understand that a life can be lived in a minute just like Al Pacino says in one of this movie's most beautiful scenes, it also talks about values, integrity, and moral principles, by sides of this movie's wonderful script it's incredible cast makes it one of the most outstanding movies I have ever seen. The incredible scene of tango, the deep arguments about life between Al Pacino's character and Chris O'Donnell's, and also those scenes when Al Pacino's character senses women's scent and tells them the name of the perfume or the name of the soap it's really amazing, all of this with the sarcastic sense of humor of this movie, it's really great. I TRULY RECOMMEND TO SEE IT
133 out of 156 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good story, brilliant acting, what more do you want?
davidgarvelink10 August 2004
This movie once again proves that Pacino is one of the greatest actors of our time and that we all should be very glad he choose to portray Colonel Frank Slade in 'Scent of a woman', no one else could have done it. The story of 'Scent of a woman' stands and falls with Pacino's acting and the bringing alive of his character. It's touching and makes you smile and leaves you behind with the feeling that you've just have had the pleasure of meeting Colonel Frank Slade, a crazy but interesting man. Chris O'Donnell does what he has to do, he gives Pacino the opportunity to shine and triggers the story. The interaction between him and Pacino does the job and provides us with great lines. Overall a great movie. I give this one a 8 out of 10.
33 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of Pacino's best!
mattymatt4ever13 May 2001
Thank God! Pacino FINALLY received the Oscar statue he so rightfully deserved in all the years he was in the acting business. It's nice to know the Academy finally came to their senses, and awarded him a Best Actor Oscar for this landmark role. This is one of his most memorable performances, and I'm sure when people think Pacino they think about his portrayal of the blind Colonel Slade. Hoo ha!

The movie itself is not, technically, great. Very good, but not great. The plot is quite predictable and driven via patented Hollywood devices. The courtroom climax contains one of Pacino's most powerful monologues. However, its outcome is melodramatic.

Personally, I thought the whole idea of Pacino being more perceptive of the world than any man or woman with perfect eyesight was far-fetched and sometimes more implausible than stunning. I'm sure there are blind men in the world who ARE in fact very perceptive to what goes on in the world, but few--if any--who can recall a whole history triggered simply by the sound of one's voice. How is he able to tell Chris O'Donnell has pimples? He's not handicapped by blindness; this guy has psychic powers! He doesn't need sight!

I do have to say that some of the most memorable lines come from this movie. Pacino says some original and wildly funny monologues involving subject matter I cannot discuss in this message. And of course there's the timeless quote: "Hoo ha!" Which later became a Pacino trademark.

"Scent of a Woman" is a somewhat flawed, but effective and entertaining film. It's a must-see for Pacino fans everywhere! It's not everyday you can catch a performance this powerful!

My score: 8 (out of 10)
146 out of 182 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pacino makes a difference
johnny-0826 October 2007
Every few weeks on TV in Croatia you can watch four movies with same actors in it. This week on TV were Al Pacino's movies: "S1m0ne", "The Merchant of Venice", "Cruising" and finally "Scent of a Woman". Of those four movies "Scent of a Woman" probably isn't the best choice but for Pacino fans answer is definitely positive. And not only for his fans. I just don't understand those people who cannot recognize great acting when they see it. Can you imagine how hard it must be to act a blind man? His performance as Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade is so powerful that this is one my favorite performances I have ever seen (along with Brando, Nicholson, Dean and Depp). Pacino simply blown me off. My favorite scene is in a hotel room when he's trying to kill himself and when he says: "I'm in a dark here." For a while I didn't breathe at all, that effect Pacino left on me. I'm his big fan and the Academy gave him Oscar for this role but I dare to say that he should have won the golden statue long before that ("Godfather", "Serpico", "Dog Day Afternoon", "Scarface" ...). But good things comes to those who wait. I don't even won't to talk about the movie, only about Pacino. I'll only say that I didn't like the last scene when everybody applause him in the school (so American happy ending). Also lots of people aren't familiar with the fact that this is remake of Dino Risi's "Profumo di donna" which is excellent film. And also I will explain my grade of the whole movie. 8 for the movie, 10 for the Pacino = 9/10.
27 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Scent of a Woman
Coxer9924 March 1999
Pacino's Col. Slade is a portrait of turmoil. Not because he's blind, but because he's never been able to rise above the blindness and still find peace with himself and with the world. One of the great tragic characters of recent years. His story is much like Hickey's in "Iceman Cometh" or Howard Beale's in "Network." They never think they do good in the world with what they have, so they find themselves in this dark hole and they stay there. No one can help them out. No one looks after them. No one feels what they feel. As years go on and opportunities are lost, the dark hole gets filled with a lot anger, sorrow and possibly regret. Can they be healed? Do they want to be healed?

In "Scent of a Woman," Pacino presents this dark, gloomy character perfectly in his Oscar winning performance. He overwhelms you with his constant bellowing and ordering of O'Donnell's Charlie. He's a man who never left the Military. My guess is that you can never take the military of out the man, only the man out of the military. He doesn't blame anyone or anything for his blindness. He's man who thinks that somehow, he was destined to "tour the battlefield" this way.
104 out of 138 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The two best syllables in the world are...hoo-ha!
Banky-725 April 1999
Movies often have lines that become part of our culture. The line from this one is hoo-ha! I don't know why for sure Pacino says that. He does though and it's great. Whenever I ask anyone about this movie, those who have seen it 99% of the time answer with a hearty hoo-ha!

As for the performances: Pacino, I dare say, gave his best performance ever. It was also the riskiest. We're not supposed to like him, but we do. We can tell he doesn't think that Charlie is a moron. We can tell that he likes him in fact as a son. It strikes us as sad though. We can sense that this man has always been lonely. But then he lost his sight because of his mere stupidity and fondness for booze. He became even more lonely and sarcastic. Mean in fact, but funny. I was laughing my $ss off when he drove the Fararri, yelling hoo-ha! at every turn. Charlie has what Slade attempted to achieve his whole life: integrity. As he says, Slade did stuff just to do stuff. Charlie does it because he means it. Chris O'Donnell, as Charlie Simms, is good. Albeit a bit understated. As I said before, Pacino is masterful. The actor who played the rich boy George is funny too.

When I first saw this, I thought the ending ruined it. It seems a bit trite and cliche ridden, but the final speech is good. Brilliant, in fact. Pacino's character comes to his own realizations and ultimately his climax in the speech. Brilliantly acted by Pacino, I may add. He takes several stupid lines in the speech and makes them forceful.

This is a good movie. Great really. It ranks on my top 10 of all time. Number 1 being Saving Private Ryan. If you want to see what Academy voters are swayed by, see Unforgiven. If you want to see a masterful movie that contains one of what I consider to be the best performance by an actor ever(the real best being Charles Sheen in Major League 2)see Scent of a Woman. The script does have its errors. The time duration is often unclear. Slade tells Charlie that his gun is not a gun, but a weapon or a piece. Seconds later, Charlie asks for it and Slade refers to it as his gun. Just little stuff like that are the reasons why the Academy didn't give it their vote. I don't care about that though. See it. Remember, the two best syllables in the world are....oh wait. I can't print that. If you've seen the movie, you get the joke.
67 out of 88 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This is a terrific movie!
Al Pacino (The Godfather, Looking for Richard) won an Oscar for Best Actor for his outstanding performance as Lt. Col. Frank Slade. I have the tape and have watched it a bazillion times. I have seen many other actors playing a blind man but Pacino outwits them all. I have watched it closely just to watch his eyes. He is terrific! Every time we watch the movie we spend at least two days going: "Oo-rah!" I like prep school movies and I have two movies where Chris O'Donnell (Circle of Friends) Charlie Simms is in a prep school. I guess it goes with his type. I like the part of Charlie who is doing the best he can with the weekend he has to face. One of the most difficult things for people is to feel is useless. That is how Lt. Co. Frank Slade feels. He also has a cynicism about life that in a sense is funny because of its irony. He meets Charlie and has everything planned out. The Colonel has extremely good taste. Meeting young Charlie, who is in a very difficult situation, the outspoken Lt. Col. found a reason to live and to feel useful again, even enjoying the smell of the perfume of Charlie's teacher. I did not see the 1974 Italian film "PROFUMO DI DONNA," but would love to see the performance of the late Vittorio Gassman, one of the most well known actor of the Italian Theater and Cinema. My Favorite Scenes: Lt. Col. driving in New York city, dancing tango, and giving a speech before the student body, to clear up Charlie's name. This is a great movie! My Favorite Quotes: Lt. Col. Frank Slade: "Oo-rah!" ..." But there isn't nothing' like the sight of an amputated spirit, there is no prosthetic for that.." "There are two kinds of people in this world, Charlie. The first group are the people that face the music; the second group are those who run for cover. Cover is better."
56 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A token gesture for Pacino.
movie-monster22 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Al Pacino is undoubtedly one of the finest actors of his generation and his performance as retired Army Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman, finally earned him his long overdue Academy Award for Best Actor, however, in my opinion, it is far from his greatest role, though it is certainly a memorable one.

My problem with this film is that for me it's an example of Pacino's dominating screen presence preserving a movie that would otherwise have been mediocre at best. The basic premise of the film is fairly dull. A young prep student called Charlie takes a job aiding a blind, lonely, retired colonel over thanksgiving weekend. The weekend turns out to be considerably more eventful than he anticipated, with the Colonel taking him first class to New York for one final bourbon-soaked hurrah, before intending to end his own life. When they head out to the city I expected there to be some good and perhaps amusing scenes where these two completely mismatched characters, one bitter, world weary and cynical, the other innocent, and naive, really get at one another and, to be fair, there are a couple of excellent moments. The tango scene, in which the Colonel dances with a complete stranger, in a classy New York restaurant is truly captivating, and another where he and Charlie test drive a Ferrari around some Brooklyn back-streets is also entertaining, however if a blind man were to drive and drift a Ferrari at over 70mph in real life, there would likely be some very severe consequences. These moments are few and far between however, and with a runtime of 2 ½ hours, the film does begin to drag.

Al Pacino has faced up to, and bettered, some outstanding actors in his career (think Johnny Depp in Donnie Brasco, or even De Niro in Heat), but casting him alongside Chris O'Donnell was a big mistake. It's the cinematic equivalent of feeding a lamb to a T-Rex. Pacino simply devours him in every scene; he literally walks all over him. O'Donnell's (non) performance as Charlie is just flat, bland, empty, clichéd and tepid to the point of irritation, and pretty much undermines everything good Pacino brings to the film.

Visually, Pacino does an excellent impression of a blind man, to the point where many characters in the film understandably, and believably, don't even notice. Admittedly, he isn't given the best script to work with but he still manages a couple of excellent monologues, most notably in one of the final scenes of the film, which brings me on to another failing of this picture.

The subplot, which involves Charlie facing expulsion, as a result of refusing to grass up his peers over a particularly spectacular prank involving the headmaster, just seemed trivial and insignificant, and completely undeserving of Pacino's glorious tirade about integrity, and 'facing the music' which should have really been a highlight of the film. You watch this scene, admire it, and realise there was far too little of it in the preceding 2 hours.

In conclusion, had Pacino not received the Oscar for Best Actor at some point in his career it would have been a travesty and an outrage, it's just unfortunate he received it for this role. He was so much better as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, or as ex-con anti-hero Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, or even as the overbearing, scenery- chewing, crack snorting gangster icon Tony Montana in Scarface. These are the roles I remember him by, and more importantly, they are vastly superior pieces of Cinema. Scent of a Woman, by comparison, is a mess. The plot is uninspired and boring, the script weak, the characters stereotypical. I've often felt that Al Pacino has an uncanny ability to make poor films average, and average films brilliant, and the former is certainly the case here. The film Two for the Money is another great example of this. A film about sports bettors with Matthew McConaughey that would have certainly been diabolical, and possibly never even released, were it not for Pacino's participation. His somehow makes it watchable... perhaps even.......interesting. Those who are new to his work (I envy you); please watch the other great films I mentioned above, before resorting to this. Disregard the Oscar. His ability to draw you into a scene and light up a film, or even just one casual line of dialogue, makes him the greatest actor of his generation, and consequently, my favourite actor of all time. It's for this reason ONLY that I give this film the 6 stars that it probably doesn't deserve.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A long days journey into "light".
erlingpa16 August 2004
This is the story of a lonely man gone lost in the darkness of his own mind and sight. A retired Colonel, and his last young recruit, embarks on the Colonel's final mission, but the end is not what either of them could have ever imagined.

Despite being somewhat melodramatic and predictable, this is a high spirited human drama and a definitive Pacino milestone. It has one of the most soul-touching performances I've ever seen by an actor. Al Pacino's character play is nothing less of absolutely stunning. The bonding of O'Donnel's firm performance makes this movie a unforgettable classic.

"Hoohaaah." Two thumbs right up!
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
james-warner18 March 2004
I first saw this movie when I was staying with my grandma at her cabin. I was blown away. The story is great, the acting is perfect, and you can't help but get attached to the characters. The relationship, trust, and love that develops as the story unfolds is nearly unparalleled in modern cinema. One of Pacino's BEST performances. Not like some of his other roles. Chris O'Donnel actually puts in probably his best performance of his career. This movie is full of great scenes (Pacino driving the Ferrari), Pacino yelling at the school dean, and unforgettable one-liners (hoo-ah). Do yourself a favor and rent this classic. You will be glad you did. (Also makes a pretty good date movie)
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One Word: Great!!
panlid18 January 2004
Michael Corleone was the best, Tony Montana sublime but Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade aint far behind in one of the greatest performances i've ever witnessed from the legend that is Al Pacino.

Agreeing with some that the last scene in the 'courtroom' wasnt all that necessary (but still uplifting) the rest of the film is fantastic. Pacino gives Slade authority, humour, stuborness and a sense of class few could manage.

O'Donnell pulls off the 'wet-behind-the-ears' role of Charlie Simms very well considering the presence of Pacino, giving the role exactly what it needed, somebody to take Pacino's crap and look completely out of his depth (the character not the actor).

The scene in the hotel room where Slade tells Simms to pass him over a few bottles of that 'John Daniels' and Simms responds 'don't you mean Jack Daniels' the next line is my one of my favourite ever...

'When you've known him as long as i have kid, you can call him John'

Love the character, love the film, for once the Oscars got it right 1993s best actor in a leading role deserved it fully.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Delicious high-class drama
Keith F. Hatcher26 July 2001
I do not tend to go along with Hollywood-created cult figures, that kind of hero-worship, idol-making, whatever: you can have your Julia Roberts and such like making endless and mindless blockbuster hits with such insipid nonsense as `Pretty Woman', `Notting Hill' and so on, but it has to be something more serious like Joel Schumacher's `Dying Young' or even Steven Soderbergh's `Erin Brockovich' to convince me that Ms Roberts can/might be a good actress. The same goes for Al Pacino. Until the arrival of `Scent of a Woman' he was just merely another actor of those who come out of the Hollywood mass-manufacturing industry. `Scent of a Woman' changed all that: here Pacino shows he is a grand master, a brilliant actor. It is not important that this film is a redoing of an Italian original, or even whether this film won him an Oscar: the film stands up for its own merits, and Pacino reaches colossal heights in this well-directed drama, ably and willingly aided by a refreshing Chris O'Donnell. Very much a two-man film as the characterisation centres masterfully on these two leading characters, Pacino had to carry out a truly theatre-like interpretation of a blind retired colonel; Bo Goldman's dialogues are up to the challenge, creating some magnificent monologues which Pacino so superbly enacted.

My rating is somewhat higher than the surprisingly low IMDb user rating: a memorable and classic piece of serious cinema which puts Pacino into a very high category.
73 out of 113 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A beautiful film
Srbo18 February 2009
Truly amazing acting by Al Pacino and a long overdue Oscar finally received. Also, O'Donell had a very fine performance. It is incredibly hard to act like Al did, specifically given his condition, but he did a master work in my opinion. Truly recommended for everyone. A masterpiece. Kudos to the director as well. And some scenes, like the dancing are just amazing. The passport to heaven, he says. Isn't that a wonderful statement? I wish there were more films like this made. And a great comeback for Al. If he had to come back from anything, that is. Movies like this are pure inspiration. To fight. And never give up. And thats what Al did. He never gave up.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Film For The Lonely
Docterry24 June 2002
There's something about this film that keeps you company. It's like you're also spending the weekend with Colonel Slade. The film entertains your darkest notions and tops your depth of grief and then somehow elevates you to find hope amidst our consciously blind existence.

At first I had a problem with Pacino's performance. I thought Al was definitely over-acting. He's playing a man who is consciously suicidal, a man suffering the loss of his dependence. He seems preoccupied in fulfilling a sexual desire but what he really yearns for is the acceptance of a woman now that he's been injured. However, even beyond his glorified apparition of woman what he presently needs is someone, anyone who will listen. He needs someone he can bark orders at like in the past. Some babe in the woods he can bemuse and corrupt amidst the decadence of `Freak Show Central', his personal nickname for New York City. In this contrived situation he finds life again and with these considerations Pacino's bravura performance is forgivable.

Pacino ironically switches energies with O'Donnell's character being the Colonel's high energy defuses Charlie's depressed low energy. The Colonel is psyched for his weekend's desperate romp, `A little tour of pleasures', he says. Given this distinction in performances, Charlie should have been the suicidal one, the defeated one because O'Donnell walks around this film like a deer caught in the headlights and there really isn't anything inspiring or motivating about him. It would have been an awesome acting exercise to have a young actor go against Pacino and realistically attempt to change his character's suicidal mission, granted his whole outlook on life yet what we have is a quick resolution that is very intense but not very intellectual.

In the end, this movie somehow manages to conduct all it's emotional payoffs thus rendering the viewer at the mercy of what may seem bathos. Many have criticized the film as negotiating Hollywood Plot A with Plot B or C. However, the Colonel realizes his biggest failure in life was in his interpersonal relationships. He learns that sometimes having friends can be a stronger and more important bond than family- a point well taken. Sometimes when a film comes together, after all the pre and post production, the result can be undeniably charming and this film manages to soar above its foundations, those manifested in the most basic of premises of melodrama. `Scent Of A Woman' does inevitably work and it's a very heart-warming film.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
People like it less when time flows by
zhongzl-kelley201423 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe you can detect the downward sloping trend in the reviews from 1999 to 2007 here. A few years later, people will view this piece as a relic and open it only for academic purposes. That's right, this is a classic, but time can easily wash away the cheap spirit embodied in this film. Therefore I might be the last one to comment on this outdated film here. But to pay my respect for the wealth and effort that was squandered on this production, and my laborious 2 hours straining myself from smashing the screen, I'll write something anyway.

The reviews render Al Pacino's acting worthy of an Oscar, but I have to argue otherwise. Sometimes the stress of the sentence sounds strange, like he suddenly remembered the next word is the point he roared, so he jumped abruptly from a chastising to a explosion, leaving the audience perplexed and uncomfortable. Someone says he is passionate, sometimes he forget the boundary between Lt. Slade and himself. That is a highest accolade invented for actors, because only the VIP class actors can walk in and out characters' inner world with ease. And I won't deny the sense of sincerity that sometimes drifts out casually, Al Pacino should take the credit for this, but he doesn't deserve the Oscar because his talent is blocked by a braggart screenplay writer.

The movie was a product of 1992, we should respect flaws in the technique of camera angles and editing the way we respect a old man for walking slow and saying gibberish. But the huge paragraphs in the scene in which Lt. Slade contradicts the headmaster about his decision to expel Charles, I think the whole paragraph about right path wrong path can be spared, because it sounds like an old men's annoyingly didactic speech. His fury suits perfectly in the plot, but the effect will definitely be more stunning if he didn't go on and on for 1500 words. I wanted to cry in my palm, because according to a ancient movie theory, it you take out all the fantastic lines, the movie is still tasty, then it's a good movie. A Scent of Woman without all the breath-drawing lines is more barren than a dessert, which is why it deserves to be left in the dust and wither in time.

I'll recommend this movie to my uncle who is going through a mid-life crisis, but definitely not to anyone who still believe in hope, love, future and dream. If you are a shallow person that has faith in lust and pompous bragging and empty shell of wealth, this is the movie to go. I believe it's your fault if all your family hate you and seem embarrassed when you show up, Lieutenant, and I believe it's your fault if you are trying to shoot yourself knowing it will jeopardize a sweet boy that pity you and take care of you all the way. The police will doubt if Charles murder you for your wealth, and that still can't explain why you has a grasp on so huge amount of money to enjoy such luxury. A good man would give the money to the Rosie's for they live such a humble life with you sitting on hundreds of bucks and Mrs, Rosie still firmly believe that you are "sweet in the heart." Shame on you, Lieutenant.

It's not a good movie for Saturday night's fun, but it's a great movie to gnaw your fingers at because it's your weekend assignment, and scratch a few words about and get it over with. I must mourn for my precious 2 hours, for I could have watched Schindler's List with it.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The story of two men, strangers at the beginning, who end up saving one another from falling down.
Elena17 February 2007
It's a captivating story that shows life as a perfect piece of art, despite all the drama, the pain and regret. And all these meanings are concentrated in the tango Al Pacino dances in the restaurant.

Al Pacino shows once again an incredible talent, and I believe his secret are his eyes. This movie, he acts with his eyes...quite amazing because eyesight is exactly what his character has recently lost.

"Scent of a woman" is one of those movies one has to see several times, not because it's too complicated, but because it seems to be new and different every time you see it. Once at the age of 18 and then again after 5 years...It's the same plot, the same story, but something seems different, new...and that is YOU!

I feel this movie moves along with the person watching, tomorrow...and so on, and so on...
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A lesson of life. An Extraordinary film.
insomniac_rod21 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This is an extraordinary film. I can't think of enough adjectives to praise "Scent of a Woman". You can watch it with high expectations and you will feel pleased.

*SPOILERS Col. Lt. Slade is a man angered with life and has infinite bitterness towards his pyyiscal disability. The man knows how to give himself a good life but it seems that it just doesn't fills him. In an exquisite way, Lt. Slade reveals that his passions are traveling, Tango, women, and cars. It may sound superficial that life's about that (in fact it's not) but Frank Slade displays a feeling of tenderness and liberation when doing them. The Tango scene speaks by itself and it's one of the most wonderful moments in the film. Also check the Porsche action sequence. It's fun and intense.

His depression is very deep that he even considers committing suicide.

After Lt. Slade meets Charlie his point of view towards life changes as the young man teaches him that life is worth to live even if you are physically disabled. Lt. Slade realizes that he is a man blessed with many gifts and he can see through people's feelings.

In my opinion, the best moment in the movie is the powerful scene where Lt. Slade comes in defense of Charlie against Bert's directors and the honorable table. Obviously Charlie is a victim of bourgeoisy; unfairness is against him because he's a loyal, honest, and humild school mate. Mr. Trask and George Willis's father take advantage on the naive student and when Mr. Trask is about to recommend Charlie's expel from Bert, Frank Slade enters aided by Manny and sits next to Charlie as his tutor.

Slade gives a powerful, intense, and moving speech. When Mr. Trask yells to Lt. Slade that "he's out of order", Frank starts his memorable speech. Let me refresh your mind by writing it:

"Out of order, I show you out of order. You don't know what out of order is, Mr. Trask. I'd show you, but I'm too old, I'm too tired, I'm too f***in' blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I'd take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order? Who the hell do you think you're talking' to? I've been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there isn't nothing' like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that. You think you're merely sending this splendid foot soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are... executin' his soul! And why? Because he's not a Bairdman. Bairdmen. You hurt this boy, you're gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, F**YOU TOO! " (IMDB - Memorable quotes).

You need to watch the movie to feel the whole experience. "Scent of a Woman" is a movie that masterfully displays drama, comedy, sadness, and makes you feel positive towards everything for a moment.

ACTING. Pacino's performance is WONDERFUL. No wonder why he got the Oscar for Best Actor. He has the charm to make the audience laugh, cry, and really feel his pain. You either love or get annoyed by his character at the beginning as he's very sarcastic, cold, and mean sometimes. As the movie evolves you totally feel symphaty for him and you can't help but ask for more of the character's personality. A delightful performance, period. Hands down to Mr. Al Pacino.

Chris O'Donnell (Charlie Simms) gives also a wonderful performance. The young man looked mature for a role of this difficulty. His innocence and decision were totally believed. When his dramatic abilities are required he delivers perfectly. When he has to deliver a decent performance when Mr. Pacino steals the scene because of his huge acting capacity; he delivers and never gets opaqued or dulled by Pacino. In my opinion, it's O'Donnell's best role to date.

DIRECTION. Martin Brest's direction is very stylish with the Hollywoodesque technique but it has a feeling. The movie looks beautiful and it's cinematography makes the movie look attractive for the eye. Brest knew how to create a powerful drama with the necessary touch of comedy. "Scent of a Woman" is an easy watch that will active all your emotions. Great job Mr. Brest.

Check out also Gabrielle Anwar's brief appearance. She surely enlightens the screen with her extreme beautiness. Wow, what a woman. The ending will also leave you satisfied.

This is one of those movies that you can watch 1000 times and you don't get bored. There's always something new to find on it.

10/10. An important and sometimes overlooked (by the Gen. X) film. Recommended FOR EVERYONE. It will move and provoke on you an internal reflexion of how you act towards life and it's burdens.
14 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Is this a comedy?
Jeremy Barger23 April 1999
Why am I not surprised that the Oscars honored this film? It's a bad movie, with only one grace that I could tell. It is pretty funny. Some of the funny parts are on purpose, and some of them are products of bad cinema. Watching a blind man drive down city streets at high speeds reminded me of the Naked Gun movies. Those movies knew how silly they were, because they did it on purpose. The pathetic thing about Scent of a Woman is they probably had no idea how idiotic they were being. And can someone please explain to me why all of the over-rated movies in this world are too long? Are you trying to put us to sleep or make us slit our wrists? Bad film.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Overrated and tedious
MovieAddict201628 April 2005
Al Pacino won his first and only Oscar for "Scent of a Woman" in 1992 and he deserved it far more for "Glengarry Glen Ross," released the same year. Although he yells a lot in both pictures, the over-the-top screaming was justified by the character in "Glengarry Glen Ross"; in "Scent of a Woman," his Lt. Col. Frank Slade comes across as a gross caricature, sort of like Robert De Niro in "This Boy's Life." Both terrific actors made some mistakes in the 1990s: This was Pacino's largest in my opinion.

First of all, like De Niro in "This Boy's Life," Pacino's fake accent is constantly varying from scene to scene. He's supposed to be from the south and has that southern twang in his voice, and pronounces words "lak dis, y'know." (In fact, he says "y'know" a lot in this movie.) The problem is that the accent comes and goes; sometimes Pacino's got it down-pat, and at other times we feel as though he's playing another character. The end speech in particular careens from Louisiana speech patterns to New York City, y'know.

The movie starts off fair enough but it's so sappy and oozing with cheesy sentimentality that, by its finale, I felt as if I'd seen enough and wanted to turn on something else.

Because basically I've seen something just like this before. It was called "Dead Poet's Society" and it followed the same formula, and carried the same sentimental goo as "Scent of a Woman." Chris O'Donnell delivers the best performance of his career, and outstages Pacino. But the movie -- clocking in at nearly three hours! -- really falls apart in the last act.

Yes, it's nice to feel refreshed by cinema. Frank Capra got away with this endless times - just look at the final speech by Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." The problem is that it's out of place, awkward and unrealistic in "Scent of a Woman," a movie that otherwise proposes it is very real. Pacino rants for about five minutes straight, as if he's reading his lines from "Witty Catchphrases People Will Remember for Years to Come: For Dummies." Overall, Martin Brest has made far better character pieces (just look at "Midnight Run," and that was a comedy!) and although "Scent of a Woman" is NOT a horrible film by any means, I do believe it's quite overrated and too sappy at times to be altogether memorable. It's okay, and worth watching now and again if it happens to come on television, but don't expect the masterpiece some people have made it out to be. It's really quite average, and follows a formula that's been followed far too many times over the years.
18 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the best Al Pacino's movies
Jessica Carvalho25 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Charlie Simms (a very young Chris O'Donnell in one of his first movies) is a young student of a very famous and conservative school named Bart. Different from his classmates, Charlie is not rich and only studies at the Bart because he won a scholarship;besides that, he needs to work to have some money to visit his parents. In ThanksGiving holiday he decides to work as a 'boysitter' of the coronel Frank Slade,a bitter and rough man who stayed blind when he was in camp. ( That's the reason of his bitterness)Charlie has many problems with Frank's personality,but needing to have 300 bucks as quick as possible, he decides to take care of the blind man. What happens is a nice travel to New York, where both Charlie and the coronel are going to know each other better and learn about their own weaknesses. The end of this movie, when the coronel is helping Charlie with some discussions and problems at School, is one of the most exciting scenes already watched in a movie !:)
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Speech Everyone Likes
ccthemovieman-121 July 2006
This was a different type of story with excellent acting by Al Pacino, who makes a speech at the end of the film that many people think is one of the coolest speeches they've ever heard on film.

Pacino's character, "Lt. Cl. Frank Slade," is a turnoff for awhile because he's so gruff, but he grows on you and becomes fascinating to watch as a blind man who doesn't act like a blind man. Chris O'Donnell, as "Charlie Simms," plays the opposite: a nice, young college kid whom Pacino winds up taking under wing. The only part I didn't care for was the beginning with Charlie's obnoxious friends, but that ties in later with Pacino's memorable speech.

A different kind of story, marred only by a little too much profanity. If you haven't seen it, I recommend checking it out. You'll enjoy it
58 out of 104 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Chris L5 September 2013
Even if Al Pacino's performance is far from perfect — he sometimes overacts a bit though it is mainly due to his character —, without him, Scent of a Woman would have been a complete flop because, indeed, the script never manages to arouse a real interest, the quality scenes can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and the endless dialogues and the lack of rhythm are as crippling as the totally linear direction based on shot/reverse shot. Moreover, the movie relies a lot on melodrama which is annoying and turns out to be counter-productive in relation to the alleged sincerity the story is b, as evidenced by the very corny happy ending.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews