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Al Pacino at the Oscars

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  • Beau S.
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    #148631

    I’ve always found Pacino, one of my favorite actors of all time, to be the prime example of an actor who won for the wrong performance (there are many of these, but his seems to be the picture-perfect example).

    The man has had a hugely successful career that, to be fair, has contained about as many hits as it has misses, but when he hits, he hits a home run. In my opinion the only other actors who comes close to the streak of brilliance that Pacino had in the 70’s is Stewart in the 40’s and Burton in the 60’s.

    Pacino delivered Oscar-worthy performances for me in The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface and Donnie Brasco. He deserved to win his categories for Godfather 2 and Dog Day Afternoon. His two Emmy wins were also richly deserved in my book.

    Now it appears that he is trying to win a second Oscar with his upcoming roles in Imagine and The Humbling.

    What are your thoughts?

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    Joe Burns
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    #148633

    Haven’t seen enough of his work (Need to seriously see a ton of his films!), but his Emmy winning work in Angels In America is amazing! Incredible work! 

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #148634

    Dog Day Afternoon was probably his best performance, but Nicholson was equally deserving for OFOTCN. The career win should have been for Glengarry Glen Ross instead of Scent of a Woman. He was infinitely better than Hackman, but they weren’t going to let him win twice. It was before my time, but I’m guessing there was a larger campaign for him in lead.

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    Icky
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    #148635

    Wins for both ‘Dog Day’ and Serpico. 

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    Scottferguson
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    #148636

    For me, the most overrated American actor of recent generations. Was decent in the first two Godfathers and a couple of his other early films, quickly fell into self-parody and overwrought hamminess.

    And yes, I include Dog Day Afternoon, 

    For me, he is a perfect example of people mistaking “most” acting for “best” acting.

    His Phil Spector recently was disgracefully bad. 

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    Joe Burns
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    #148637

    Scottferguson: Was he considered the frontrunner for his Godfather roles? 

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    Scottferguson
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    #148638

    Coppola had to fight hard for him to get the role the first time.

    For awards, Joel Grey was the strong favorite (since there were 3 GF nominees in part); Pacino won Best Actor from the NSFC.

    For Pt 2, it was a Nicholson/Carney race, with Carney no worse than co-favorite

    But I’d have been OK with him winning either of those two 

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    babypook
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    #148639

    I’ve always found Pacino, one of my favorite actors of all time, to be the prime example of an actor who won for the wrong performance (there are many of these, but his seems to be the picture-perfect example).

    The man has had a hugely successful career that, to be fair, has contained about as many hits as it has misses, but when he hits, he hits a home run. In my opinion the only other actors who comes close to the streak of brilliance that Pacino had in the 70’s is Stewart in the 40’s and Burton in the 60’s.

    Pacino delivered Oscar-worthy performances for me in The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface and Donnie Brasco. He deserved to win his categories for Godfather 2 and Dog Day Afternoon. His two Emmy wins were also richly deserved in my book.

    Now it appears that he is trying to win a second Oscar with his upcoming roles in Imagine and The Humbling.

    What are your thoughts?

    He personifies Michael Corleone. Once I saw his work in The Godfather, I wanted to see more of him. This is still my favorite work from him.

    Sure he’s had hits and misses, but I’m glad he’s still working. He clearly likes working with Barry Levinson. He’s signature Pacino in And Justice For All.

    I even liked his overthetop turn in Scarface. Iconic. I guess we’ll see. He’s up there with a host of talented veterans who would love to have a(nother) shot on the podium.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #148640

    He’s easily my victor for Godfather II, and a strong nominee for all of the films Beau listed except for maybe Scarface and Donnie Brasco (though I’ll have to review those years).

    I’ve got another big question – had he been rightfully put in Lead for the first Godfather film, who would you have picked: Pacino or Brando?

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    Scottferguson
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    #148641

    Brando easily. One of the most slam dunk wins in Oscar history, and deservedly so.

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    babypook
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    #148642

    Brando. But Pacino would have been my choice in Supporting. Joel Grey is superb, but my emotional choice is with this Corleone family.

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    Words Count
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    #148643

    Dog Day Afternoon was probably his best performance, but Nicholson was equally deserving for OFOTCN. The career win should have been for Glengarry Glen Ross instead of Scent of a Woman. He was infinitely better than Hackman, but they weren’t going to let him win twice. It was before my time, but I’m guessing there was a larger campaign for him in lead.

    He was too young for Supporting Actor to be his gold watch win. Winning Best Actor for Scent of a Women is not hard to understand when you know his leading man legacy.

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    Anthony
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    #148644

    He should’ve won for Serpico and then perhaps The Godfather Part II.

    The stretch of 1973-1975, for me, are the interchangable Nicholson & Pacino years. Either one of them were worthy to take them in those years.

    He definitely shouldn’t have taken it for Scent of a Woman. It was a true blatant makeup Oscar….but a prime example of the wool over the eyes in this case was one of my acting teachers in college showed us a few scenes from the film (I had seen it a few years before) and he kept pointing out how impressive Pacino was with the blind work, with the not focusing on anything and leaving the upper part of his face completely lifeless….somehow that instantly meant Oscar winner to him because he was all about the physical stuff. I actually rebuttled in response saying while it is a strong feat, the actual performance was hammy and that I much preferred Denzel Washington and Stephen Rea from that race. You would’ve thought I just shot his child in front of him….he pretty much said I needed to watch film in whole again to see how wrong I was. I watched it again along with Malcolm X and The Crying Game and came back to him. He asked with a smug face that if I felt crazy now….and I told him that I did but in a completely different way. I liked the performance even less than before and found more to love with Washington and Rea. Needless to say, he was stunned.

    Sorry for the long story, but the incident just came back to me.

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    Icky
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    #148645

    As much of a cliche as the eccentric acting/film teacher is it’s actually very difficult to find some with their own perspective who don’t spend the gist of their time reiterating the same well-worn standards and perspectives. 

    Back to Pacino.  He did his best work in the early 70’s. His acting began to get more affected with ‘Dog Day’. It’s a performance I love in a movie I like, but that’s when the Pacino persona began to solidfy. With Scarface and after it’s been one broad, scenery chewing performance after another. It’s sometimes worked (Donnie Brasco), but he needs to be in a film with at least a bit of irony and guided by a director that can somewhat reign him in. 

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    Smileynate
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    #148646

    His “Scent of a Woman” performance embodied everything that is bad about his acting.  Of course he wins for that, so outside of his brilliant work in “Angels in America,” he’s chosen to completely ignore the early, understated quality of his work and mistake ham and bombast for acting.  I really have a hard time watching him in anything these days.

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