Robert De Niro, Ed Norton and Milla Jovovich star in this drama thriller about a convicted arsonist trying to manipulate a parole officer with the help of his beautiful wife
Pacino, winning his first Best Actor Oscar after four previous nominations, is powerful as an embittered, blind ex-Army colonel, whose capacity for wine, women and song causes much distress to his timid young charge and foil (O'Donnell).
More than Vittorio Gassman in Profumo di Donna (1974), the film on which this is based, Pacino manages to shift smoothly from comedy to pathos, making the antipathetic character seem fascinating. He is also completely convincing as a blind man.
However, the film is weakened by the rites of passage and college movie parallel plot involving the sympathetic O'Donnell.
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