Scent of a Woman (1992)


Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Al Pacino, James Rebhorn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Gabrielle Anwar

Director: Martin Brest

Summary: A young student is forced into accompanying a blind, embittered former Army officer on a hedonistic trip to New York City and comes of age in the process

Other Nominations: Director, Actor (Pacino)*, Adapted Screenplay

This loose remake of a 1974 Italian film of the same name has a fair amount of charm but it’s let down in large part due to its length. A buddy-road trip-coming of age story doesn’t need to be 2 and a half hours long (the movie it’s a remake of is an hour and 40 minutes for comparison). We don’t get that much out of the extra length and instead the pacing is poor and there’s a lot of scenes that are inconsequential and the whole movie could have been easily hacked down by 30 minutes and for the better. Pacino’s good here, but a lot of the magic here is in the unique and memorable character versus his performance making the role. His Best Actor win here is widely considered, and I can’t really disagree, as a lifetime achievement Oscar (that he was robbed of when Art Carney somehow beat Pacino in The Godfather Part II). Beyond Pacino though, Chris O’Donnell is far better than I’ve seen him from any of his other work-this is the same guy who was Robin in the Joel Schumacher Batman movies just three years after this and yet here he holds his own with Al Pacino. If this movie was parred down a bit and the ending wasn’t pure cheese, it could have been a really good movie. As is, it’s a solid but flabby movie.

Rating: B-


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