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.
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