Scent of a Woman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Scent of a Woman Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2007
Pacino is on fine form with a dazzling performance but it's not enough to make this film shine in my eyes!
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2014
Al Pacino is magic in this film. You can't take his eyes of him. Added to this, the film is moving and carries an important message. It is a satisfying, uplifting, triumphant film that must be watched!
Super Reviewer
½ July 8, 2009
When things get tangled, tango on!

Great Film! The Scent of a Woman is the kind of film that many would think belongs to a bygone era. While it is frank and contemporary without sugar coating it illustrates the value of character over glitz and how small acts can have long lasting consequences. The Scent of a Woman is very satisfying on many levels. 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 character development is superb, dialogue terrific, glamorous locations and a story line that requires the characters to show themselves to be the people they really are. The film has a lot of funny lines and great drama.

Frank is a retired Lt Col in the US army. He's blind and impossible to get along with. Charlie is at school and is looking forward to going to university; to help pay for a trip home for Christmas, he agrees to look after Frank over thanksgiving. Frank's niece says this will be easy money, but she didn't reckon on Frank spending his thanksgiving in New York.
Super Reviewer
February 21, 2012
Al Pacino is one of the most respected and talented actors in the history of filmmaking. So why did it take him over 20 years in the business before he finally got his hands on one of those golden little baldies, that go by the name of Oscar? It's a question that will confound many but at least now, with this performance in 1992, it probably, proudly, rests on his mantelpiece.
In order to make some money for a Christmas trip home, impoverished college-student Charlie (Chris O'Donnell) agrees to look after Frank (Al Pacino), a blind retired Colonel for Thanksgiving. Babysitting takes on a whole new dimension when Frank decides he wants to spent the weekend living it up in New York City.
At the time of this films release Pacino had had 4 nominations for Best Actor and 3 nominations for Best Supporting Actor. He had produced such sterling work in classic films like "The Godfather", "Serpico", "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Scarface". This is only a few in a long list but, finally, no-one could argue with his bravura portrayal of a blind, hard drinking, ex-Army colonel. This isn't the type of film you'd tip for Pacino receiving an award but it's a performance that can't be ignored. Yes, grandstanding does ensue, but hey! It's Pacino, he's allowed. There's an unsettling intensity to his performance that's so powerful, it's hard to take your eyes off him. Ironically, he plays a blind man but his performance allows the audience to see. To see, what an actor can encapsulate. The film itself is a tad lighthearted and despite being overshadowed considerably, a young Chris O'Donnell handles himself well in such company. But it feels like the story itself is only a vehicle, or series of scenes, in which to allow Al to chew up. It's enjoyable stuff nonetheless and at a running time of 2hrs 30mins, you wouldn't know. The time flies by as it's so much fun. A major demerit is the Hollywood perfect, rousing, finale though. The schmaltz factor goes through the roof, leaving you feeling a bit embarrassed at the audacity in even attempting it and it seriously sells the film short.
If I was to rate this based on Pacino's performance, it would be an unquestionable 5 stars. It's one of his finest. However, the flimsy material brings the film down a notch.
Super Reviewer
½ February 6, 2012
Very good movie. Give this man a oscar... Yeah you should have before to... And I would like to take some time to acknowledge Chris O'Donnell as well. Cause he did a damn fine job. I'm not gonna say I can relate to blindness... Cause I can't. But being blind is among the highest things on the list of things I don't wanna be. So it speaks to me. It must be hell... was a good script and well executed. Thank you for your time
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
Scent of a Woman is one of the greatest performances of Al Pacino. The plot was great, it really has many great themes and I loved the character that they gave Pacino. Chris O Donell was great, but Al Pacino played a very moving and intense role and if I were gonna recommend this movie, it would be mostly because of him. This movie was a sweet and humourous film and I loved it, and its a true classic.
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2007
How many good actors does it take to make a movie worth the watch? Well, in this case only one: Hollywood legend Al Pacino. But to call him good would be the understatement of the century, because the performance he brings here is so amazing it makes the rest of the cast look like amateurs. Add to that that it's got one of the best scripts ever written for cinema, and you'll know why they're calling this a classic. A phenomenal, captivating and brilliantly acted film, that I personally rank as the best film I've ever seen with Al Pacino. Yes, I even like it more than Scarface and The Godfather movies (which I both find really overrated by the way). So if you happen to be on the look-out for a drama beyond the average, then I can tell you right now that search is over.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2007
A little long but Pacino is very watchable as he chews ALL of the scenery.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's first real roll.
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2009
not really that big a deal... its really just great for the 5 minutes of Brad Whitford. i think its fucked up that Pacino would win the oscar for this and not the Godfather. thats about as bad as hearing a Heath Ledger fan say, "dude. seriously.. you have to go see 10 things i hate about you. just trust me."
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2008
In order to make some money for a Christmas trip home, college student Charlie agrees to look after Frank, a blind retired Colonel, for Thanksgiving. Babysitting takes on a whole new dimension when Frank decides he wants to spent the weekend living it up in New York City.Winning an Oscar for his performance, Al Pacinos portrayal of a blind man is so good that you can almost forget that in real life he is not visually impaired.
I really enjoyed this movie
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2006
One of Al Pacino's best performances utterly unbelieveable.
Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2009
Corny & melodramatic with a ridiculous happy ending but could have worse you know, Overall it has a few good moments
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2006
Pacino's Oscar came later than it should, but regardless of when, it was well earned and deserved nonetheless. This ia a fantastic film filled with excellent and memorable performances, a lot of heart and soul, and a great message. This film is a real joy to watch and experience. The fact that Pacino goes from someone you love to someone who wins you over (and does so in a genuine way) is proof of this film's power and greatness.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2007
Al Pacino is extrodinary, he steals every scene he is in, truly crafting a superb and incrediable performance. One of his greatest performances ever and in the history of cinima. Chris O'Donnell is marvelous, a great performance to insure him as an upcoming star. It's absolutely unforgettable and flawless. Riveting, electrifying and satisfying. A maginificent film. A heartfelt, funny and outstanding experiance. Powerful and very touching throughout. An excellent movie in every way. Superb storytelling and stunningly crafted. A towering and masterful drama. Wickedly funny and spectacular. A film you cant turn away from. You cant stop but smile when you think of this movie. A two and a half hour pleasure from start to finish. A masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2009
This was and extremely average movie IMO. The movie on the whole was just about okay and not great, as I'd expected. It surely had its moments, but overall it was quite a disappointing fare for me. Al Pacino and other actors did an okay job, at the most a fine job; but the most I liked (or say, loved) was that "lump of sugar". However, it was too disappointing as she's there only for some minutes. It was indeed a pleasure to watch her. Coming back to the movie, the plot could have been better done and the editing too. The screenplay too was powerless.Finally, if asked, I won't ever buy this "scent" as it hardly has any smell!!!!!!
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2008
"Col. Frank Slade has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded forty-five. And he's bringing Charlie along for the ride."

Driven by an extravagant, tour-de-force performance by Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman is the story of Frank Slade (Pacino), a blind, retired army colonel who hires Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell), a poor college student on the verge of expulsion, to take care of him over Thanksgiving weekend. At the beginning of the weekend, Frank takes Charlie to New York, where he reveals to the student that he intends to visit his family, have a few terrific meals, sleep with a beautiful woman and, finally, commit suicide. The film follows the mismatched pair over the course of the weekend, as they learn about life through their series of adventures.

Scent of a Woman tackles life important issues like values, principles and integrity and is done in such a way that it brings power and sensitivity at the same time. Director Martin Brest didn't rely on "tried and tested" Hollywood tearjerker formula but instead takes it deep from the heart and just overwhelms you with great emotions. If this film haven't touched you at the very least, then I don't know what will. What tops off this mesmerizing film is the intensity that the actors brought to the table most especially Al Pacino in one of his career defining roles as Lt. Col. Frank Slade.

In what is possibly one of the finest showcase of acting I have ever seen, Al Pacino disappears completely and minute by minute a new sentient being emerges, that of a blind man whose sarcastic wit and rip roaring voice demands attention and believe you me, you cannot help but get carried away by Pacino's superb performance. One shining moment is most definitely the speech that his character gave at the end. It is undoubtedly one of the finest monologues I have ever seen in the history of cinema. Great delivery by Pacino. Nothing more can be said, it is powerful, deep, grand, heart-wrenching and majestic. It is a testament as to why Al Pacino can almost be compared to a god, a living, breathing god. Chris O' Donnell, not to say he underperformed but he delivers as well playing school boy Charlie Simms. One might say he was completely overshadowed by an acting god which is not entirely true. He had some defining moments throughout the film and is overall fantastic.

Scent of a Woman is a must-see.
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2008
An amazing picture with a great, smart script, filled with clever lines... Al Pacino's performance is mind-blowing, while Chris O'Donnell and Philip Seymour Hoffman did a really good job...Funny moments, sad moments, inspiring moments, this film is a wonderful experience, and Pacino is just perfect.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2008
Ever since this film, every Al Pacino film in terms of how he says his lines are the same.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2006
I wanted to see what the fuss was about with this film, having had so many recommendations for it, admittedly I'd put it off thinking it was going to be a romance film.

This has to be my favourite performance from Pacino yet, what a great character, I though Chris O'Donnell's performance was very very good also.

The reason for me why this film doesn't quite make the full ratings is simply because of the typical 'Hollywood' clapping part, otherwise a fantastic film.

VERDICT: A Definite recommendation
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