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.
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