Al Pacino won his first Best Actor Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of an overbearing, blind retired lieutenant colonel who hires a young guardian (Chris O'Donnell) to assist him. It's a heart-wrenching and heartwarming tale of opposites attracting when they embark on a wild weekend trip that will change the lives of both men forever.
Hoo-hah! After seven Oscar nominations for his outstanding work in films such as The Godfather, Serpico
, and Dog Day Afternoon
, it's ironic that Al Pacino finally won the Oscar for his grandstanding lead performance in this 1992 crowd pleaser. As the blind, blunt, and ultimately benevolent retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, Pacino is both hammy and compelling, simultaneously subtle and grandly over-the-top when defending his new assistant and prep school student Charlie (Chris O'Donnell) at a disciplinary hearing. While the subplot involving Charlie's prep-school crisis plays like a sequel to Dead Poets Society
, Pacino's adventurous escapades in New York City provide comic relief, rich character development, and a memorable supporting role for Gabrielle Anwar as the young woman who accepts the colonel's invitation to dance the tango. Scent of a Woman is a remake of the 1972 Italian film Profumo di donna. In addition to Pacino's award, the picture garnered Oscar nominations for director Martin Brest and for screenwriter Bo Goldman. --Jeff Shannon