Scent of a Woman (1992)

An exercise in contrast, Scent of a Woman takes the viewer on a luxurious journey from death to life. The motivating element in the film is essentially love - the life sustaining factor, the possibility, and the giving. Instilling hope into another person is a wonderful thing to see in film. It is truly inspiring.

What really strikes me when I watch this film is how honest and real it keeps the players. So many films try to typecast the characters and it leaves the story empty without humanity. I enjoy middleclass characters being middleclass. Maybe it's just what I identify with best.

The subplot about honourably not being a snitch is fascinating to me. I understand the point about not selling out your friends. What about selling out criminals though? What about being true to yourself and truth above being true to those who have done wrong? I recognize the power of grace and how we can wield grace the way it was wielded towards Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, but when are we to act as responsible citizens? There is the question of motive too - revenge, personal gain, justice, responsibility... Some questions the movie brought up for me.

Chris O'Donnell is the one who really performs in this film. I've been a fan since seeing him in his debut Men Don't Leave and his emotional scenes are breathtaking. Al Pacino won the oscar though. He just plays a blind Al Pacino, so I'm not sure how hard that was for him.

Official Site | IMDB

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