Great Moment In Film – Scent of a Woman (1992)
While we have seen Al Pacino on this blog before (a quiet moment with Marlon Brando from The Godfather), we haven’t properly seen Mr. Pacino yet. What do I mean when I say “properly seen?” Simply that no one matched Al Pacino when he goes into overdrive. While many consider it “overacting,” I always considered it him finding another level (albeit with a lack of subtlety) when the moment requires it.
In Scent of a Woman, Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) and his friend George (Philip Seymour Hoffman) witness an act of vandalism to which this very upscale prep school would like to punish those who committed the act VERY much. While George is able to avoid making any testimony (much to the thanks of his very wealthy father), Charlie not only refuses to say who did it, but due to coming from a poor background, he isn’t able to get out of it, either.
Pacino plays Frank Slade, a blind ex Army Ranger, who Charlie was babysitting over Thanksgiving in order to get enough money to fly back home for Christmas. It would be a few days he would never forget and the two bond to the point where Frank comes to Charlie’s hearing. Of course, this allows Pacino to give a very famous speech and give us a moment none of us will ever forget.
Trivia: In eight Oscar nominations, it would be for Scent of a Woman which Pacino would finally win. Also, this is the last role which Pacino has been nominated for an Oscar so far.