To celebrate Al Pacino’s 71st birthday today, I’d like to suggest something drastic. I’d like the Academy to exchange his Oscar for Scent of a Woman for another honoring his role as Michael Corleone in either of the first two Godfather films. No need to steal trophies back from other deserving actors, like Joel Grey (Cabaret) or the late Art Carney (Harry and Tonto) — this isn’t about them. This is about Pacino, whose magnificent film work in the 1970s has aged like a fine wine. Nominated for an Oscar for four straight years — for the two Godfather movies, Serpico, and Dog Day Afternoon — Pacino simply breathed life into characters that no one else could play, then or now.
It’s not my intent to disparage Scent of a Woman or Pacino’s award-winning performance as the blind Lt. Col. Frank Slade. It’s a decent movie and a fine role, but it also epitomizes the hooah-type characters that Pacino made a habit of playing to diminishing returns in the 20 years since Scent came out. READ FULL STORY