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Scent of a Woman

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Scent of a Woman

Starring: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell
Director: Martin Brest
Rated: R
RunTime: 149 Minutes
Release Date: February 1992
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: James Rebhorn, Gabrielle Anwar, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Venture, Bradley Whitford, Frances Conroy

Review by Pedro Sena
4 stars out of 4

There are films that just stand out, and if it isn't because it is well written, then it is because an actor just takes over, and delivers what is undoubtedly one of the most deserving Oscar performances around.

Scent of a Woman, is a simple film, nothing complicated about it at all, and the story is very easy to tell. A college boy, Charles (Chris O'Donnell) in a private institution in the east ( Boston ) gets in trouble with a few of his friends, for which his future is at stake. Since it happens just prior to the Thanksgiving holidays, there isn't much that the school can do to discipline anyone until the following Monday. In the meantime, he gets himself a part time job to help take care of his financial needs for the holidays. And that job is to take care of a retired, and blind, career army man ( played by Al Pacino ). And what looked like an easy job turns into a weekend in New York, where the real story about the Colonel is unfolding. He wants to have one more fling, and then end his life.

The Colonel is alone, his own family doesn't like him, or his surprise visit, and he is not known for being Mr.. congeniality, either. But Charlie is a well mannered kid, and his way eventually affects the aging Colonel.

Upon returning to the school on Monday, Charles is facing expulsion and a ruined future because of his honesty, and integrity. And in appears the surrogate father who delivers the young man from the claws of defeat. And the school's discipline committee takes a harmless stand, so not to hurt anyone, which is the speech that delivers the young man from the claw of the over eager administrator with revenge on his mind.

A magnificent film, really nicely done, well executed in almost every phase, and it stimulates the feelings of the viewer, because we can not let go of the character or the story. The aging Colonel still has an eye for women, and can smell them a mile away, and teases the younger Charlie about them.

There are many films that one should see on a large screen and this one is one of them, but unlike them, this one is stronger, even if seen at home, on the video ( as I just did ), where one's emotional edges are allowed to run freely.... and this film is at least one of those that requires a pause... and then run back to it....

Great film in every respect.

Copyright 1994 Pedro Sena

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