Hard-up student Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) agrees to a job over Thanksgiving weekend to earn some much-needed cash: he has to escort blind, embittered ex-Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino) as he indulges the good life in New York city. Slade plans to eat, drink, make merry and womanise - but unbeknown to Charlie, Slade is also intent on blowing his own brains out at the end of the excursion. (Universal Pictures UK)


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English It may be a old-fashioned story about life, but with an incredibly youthful Al Pacino, full of enthusiasm and energy. He grabs all the attention and leaves behind a solid Chris O'Donnell, skillful direction, and a dense screenplay with plenty of unforgettable scenes. Pacino played his role so well that even a few seemingly trivial scenes (dancing in a restaurant, the Ferrari) become unforgettable and symbolic due to his character’s handicap (celebrating unyielding human will and zest for life). I wouldn't hesitate to say that, from a content perspective, it's a timeless film. ()


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English There is a category of films that primarily forces one to go back to previously reviewed titles, change their perspective on them, and adjust the number of stars assigned to them. In the case of Scent of a Woman, I first watched the Italian original and gave it four strong stars. After watching the American remake, I must add a fifth star, and for Brest's film, I can't go higher than three stars. Mind you, the film is still good, but in this confrontation, one understands what it means for a commercially successful film compared to a raw artistic piece that does not consider success with the widest audience and instead follows the creative intentions of the screenwriter and director. Al Pacino plays his colonel brilliantly, but Vittorio Gassman in the Italian version does not play his captain Fausto, he simply is him. And he is him because the script does not prescribe him pathetic speeches, predictable sentimental behavior, and nonsense. Gassman's officer authentically hates, envies, humiliates, desires, and loves, while his American counterpart operates within an overly sweetened script that turns into typical Hollywood kitsch in the final half-hour. The gun in the American version is just a prop that serves for an impressive scene where the viewer, along with Al Pacino's companion, counts how long it takes the blind officer to assemble the disassembled weapon, for a few dialogues, and for a seemingly intense scene where the viewer already knows in advance that it has to end well in the minds of the audience's expectations. In the Italian version, it is a real weapon that can harm and kill at any time. The Italian captain drinks heavily and pays for prostitutes; his American counterpart can only talk about it and use a few vulgarisms. In the American film, the viewer doesn't have to worry about either the colonel or the student Charlie because it is clear that everything must eventually turn out well. The difference between European and American approaches to drama is simply drastic. Overall impression: 65%. ()



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English A beautiful movie. Incredibly honest and sensitive. Al Pacino’s Oscar for this is well-deserved. I don’t understand where he learned to act this well. To play a blind man so beautifully! Not only did I believe him, but I sympathized with him. It is also interesting that you would expect anything from the name, but certainly not such a drama. Not only is the movie incredibly human, but it also contains a number of life truths. For example, the beautiful final monologue that Al Pacino delivered at the end of the movie shot an arrow deep into my heart. That was something so breathtaking… I wish the world itself was based on it. ()


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English The story drags a lot at times, but the excellent Al Pacino turns things decisively in the right direction. Martin Brest knows how to work with similar themes, and here he had a really excellent script overflowing with pleasant nostalgia and humanity. But all this happens against the backdrop of a great performance that no review could do justice to. Just as Hoffman can play an autistic man, Nicholson a psychopath and Carrey an idiot, Pacino has mastered the blind. Bravo! 80% ()


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English A life in darkness has always been my worst nightmare (maybe also because I have had to look at the world through two pieces of glass in a metal frame for many, many years) and Pacino’s performance of Lt. Col. Slade embodied my idea of how I would look at the world if I went blind. What’s the point of life if I can’t see it? Even so, Scent of a Woman is all about life, what little things can influence it and about how to live it. A very nice story. P.S.: Another perfect rendition from Pacino. ()

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