Sunday, October 30, 2016

Scent of a Woman (1992)

Director: Martin Brest
Writer: Bo Goldman
DOP: Donald E.Thorin
Cast: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, Philip Seymour Hoffman 

A prep school student needing money agree to 'babysit' a blind colonel, over the Thanksgiving weekend,  but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Scent of a Woman was the film where academy made amends for their past mistakes and gave Al Pacino his first and only Oscar. He is my favourite English language actor of all time and should've already won it for either Godfather or Dog Day Afternoon. His career can be classed into two phases- the initial one characterised by quite subtle performances in films like Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon & Godfather and the latter 'Hoohah' years characterised by films like Scarface, Scent of a Woman, Devil's Advocate etc. This division is also quite chronological with the dividing line being his serious illness in the late 70s. He did quite roll back the years for 'The Insider' and 'Donnie Brasco' and gave a mix of the two eras in 'Heat'.

The only other film that I've seen of Martin Brest is the excellent 'Midnight Run' which is a comedy road film featuring Robert De Niro. Both these films are ultimately feel good ones where everything is tied off too well at the end. Midnight Run is the better one in my opinion and how much you like SOAW would depend on how well you take to Pacino's performance. It is not among my favourite performances of his but I still like the film on the whole. Hoo-ha... Philip Seymour Hoffman once again steals everyone's thunder.

My favourite Pacino performances goes something like this:

1. Dog Day Afternoon
2. Godfather
3. Insider
4. Donnie Brasco
5. Heat

Rating: 3.5/5