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.
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