Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1992. Universal Pictures, City Light Films. Screenplay by Bo Goldman, based on a character created by Ruggero Maccari, Dino Risi in Profumo Di Donna, from the novel Il Buio E Il Miele by Giovanni Arpino. Cinematography by Donald E. Thorin. Produced by Martin Brest. Music by Thomas Newman. Production Design by Angelo P. Graham. Costume Design by Aude Bronson-Howard. Film Editing by Harvey Rosenstock, William Steinkamp, Michael Tronick.
Al Pacino has given so many overdone, hammy performances since making this overlong drama that it has finally revealed his role here to be the feel-good schlock that it is. Chris O’Donnell plays a hardworking prep-school student who needs a job to pay his next year’s tuition. He takes on the task of assisting a blind veteran (Pacino), who wants to enjoy some booze, cars and women before departing the earth. Then the kid gets in trouble at school and Pacino gives a courtroom speech that seems like it will never end. Director Martin Brest uncomfortably includes too many elements in this drama, and never gives us a good enough reason for it to run for almost three hours. You gotta hand it to Al, though, because he makes even the worst material fun, plus finally won the Oscar that had eluded him for too long.
Academy Award: Best Actor (Al Pacino)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Director (Martin Brest); Best Adapted Screenplay
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Al Pacino); Best Screenplay
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Chris O’Donnell)