YMMV / Scent of a Woman

  • Catharsis Factor: Seeing Frank choke out his obnoxious nephew at the Thanksgiving dinner for ruining the day for everyone, especially Frank and Charlie, note  is this to many people who have that one prick family member/frenemy who always goes too far and you wish you could hit but can't due to alienating family relations or facing potential legal trouble.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: There are plenty of moments, including Col. Slade's tango, his driving and the fact he managed to talk a cop out of a ticket without the man ever realizing he was blind, the standoff between Slade and Charlie and the meeting before the council, especially both the "FUCK YOU, TOO!" and for getting Charlie off (and the whole school giving them a standing ovation.)
  • He Really Can Act: While Chris O'Donnell may be more famous for his nippled Batsuit, he deserves some love here for holding his own against Al Pacino.
  • Iron Woobie / Jerkass Woobie: Frank hits both. While he's harsh and crude at times, he's often right, and he still handles all the harshness life throws at him with strength and a snarky reply at hand. Once we see him collapse after his suicide attempt, we truly see how empty he feels. Makes you wanna cuddle him.
  • Mainstream Obscurity: *happily* Hey, it's that film where Al Pacino finally won an Oscar! *angrily* Hey, it's that film that robbed Denzel Washington (Malcolm X), Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven), and Robert Downey, Jr.. (Chaplin) of the Best Actor Oscar!
  • One-Scene Wonder: A younger Gabrielle Anwar played Donna, who did a memorable tango dance with Col. Slade.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Chris O'Donnell would go on to play Robin in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman would have a 20-year, very diverse career until his death in 2014.
    • Gabrielle Anwar would go on to play Fiona Glenanne on the TV series Burn Notice.
    • Bradley Whitford, who plays Slade's nephew here, would become more widely known following his work as Josh Lyman on The West Wing.
    • June Squibb would also gain wider recognition two decades later when she earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Nebraska.
    • Frances Conroy (who, around this point, was more focused on theatrical work) would eventually gain great critical acclaim as Ruth Fisher in Six Feet Under.
  • Signature Scene: It's usually a three-way tie between the tango, the ride in the Ferrari or the almost suicide scene.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Frank and Charlie in the standoff with the latter trying everything he can to convince him not to kill himself. Even after wrestling the gun from him and talking him down, it still does not undo his eventual total blindness, something he is painfully aware of:
    "I'm in the dark here! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?! I'M IN THE DARK!!"
    • Even the scene before is pretty sad; throughout the film at that point, Frank was so full of life and piss and vinegar, yet that morning he was so low and depressed, he had to be woken by Charlie and he devised a plan to send the kid on errands. Thank God he ended up coming back soon.