Writer: Bo Goldman (Screenplay) Giovanni Arpino (Novel)
Starring: Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabriele Anwar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Benture, Bradley Whitford
Plot: A prep school student needing money agrees to “babysit” a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.
Tagline – 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.
Runtime: 2 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Special Drama
Story: Scent of a Woman starts as prep school student Charlie Simms (O’Donnell) takes a weekend job caring for blind veteran Lt Col Frank Slade (Pacino), with Charlie’s future on the line at school after a prank by the rich kids on the headmaster, he wants the weekend to help him focus.
Frank has other ideas, he wants to go to New York for one last weekend of living the highlife before killing himself, he needs Charlie to be his guide on this journey. This weekend will change Charlie’s life as he gets the guidance he needs to help him through his difficult time.
Thoughts on Scent of a Woman
Characters – Lt, Col, Frank Slade is a short tempered blind veteran, he loves a drink and can identify a woman’s fragrance with the slightest smell in the air. He knows the people in his life don’t care about him much anymore, but Charlie gives him the guide he needs for this one last adventure. Charlie Simms comes from a poor family of hard workers, he earnt his place in the school with a scholarship, this is now at risk if he covers for the rich kids, but his Thanksgiving job of looking after Frank gives him a life lesson he could never learn in a classroom. The rest of the characters we meet are people that Frank wants to see once more, Charlie’s classmates and the women that Frank believes he can impress.
Performances – Al Pacino won his Oscar with this performance, he commits and convinces throughout this film, showing he can break out from the cop or gangster roles you could see him being known for. Chris O’Donnell is great here too showing he was one of the main young actors waiting to come in the early 90s. the rest of the performances are great through the film showing us that the host of talent knew how to make an impact in a small amount of screen time.
Story – The story follows a school student that must look after a blind veteran who wants to commit suicide after one last weekend. This story gives Charlie life lessons that he needs as he approaches a dog eat dog world, but also shows Frank that not everyone has given up hope on him and the service he gave to his country. This shows us how one weekend can change lives, an adventure that is unlike anything Charlie could have imagined.
Settings – The film takes our characters from a smaller town to the big apple, this as I say a lot if always a wonderful location for learning about life in a way you could never imagine.
Final Thoughts – This is a wonderful drama that deserved the praise it got, it has brilliant chemistry between the two leads as you understand both their problems in life. This is one of Pacino’s best performances and a must watch for any of his fans.
Overall: Must watch drama.