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Main| Oscar History: Dame Maggie Smith »
Saturday
Sep 28 2019

Al Pacino May Meet Oscar Again

byMurtada Elfadl

Oscar may call an old favourite's name again this year.Al Pacino,a seven time nominee,has not been recognized by his peers in the Academy since he won forScent of a Woman(1992) more than a quarter century ago.However in Martin ScorseseThe Irishmanhe finally gets a showcase part that will likely bring him back to the ceremony.

In this story of American moral decay and gangland infiltration into all structures of American society,Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa the controversial leader of the country's strongest union,the Teamsters.The film tracks his involvement with the mafia particularly his friendship with hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro).It's not only a great part but a flashy and memorable one particularly in comparison with the quieter tones that his co-stars De Niro and Joe Pesci have to play...

Pacino shows us many aspects of Hoffa.The blustery loud arrogant and power hungry man who's not afraid to antagonize both friends and foes.Also the tender family man who develops a friendship with Sheeran's daughter Peggy (played as a child by Lucy Gallina and as an adult by Anna Paquin).In addition to those different sides Pacino gets to be funny as he tries to one up and out talk both his mafia cronies and the government lawyers who are trying to put him in jail.It's a very loud performance,not just because of the yellingl but because he shows a range of emotions and plays the part to the hilt with contrasting tones.Some people might remember the real Hoffa and quibble with how exacting the mimicry is,but we think the strength of the performance will drown out the naysayers.Though Pacino came to the press conference at the New York Film Festival equipped with a relevant anecdote;he listened to tapes of Hoffa's speeches on set.

In particular Pacino has a big scene around the middle of the film that will surely seal the nomination for him.Hoffa is mad at his subordinates - we'll keep the reason why so as not to spoil too much - and he is berating them,in full yelling and fury mode.However just in the next scene he has to console a friend and apologize for his outburst.And just when you think he might yell again,he flips it and out comes kindness and empathy as well as comedy.All this within a few short minutes.He nails it.

The Irishman team at NYFF opening night

His biggest obstacle on the way to the Dolby might be his co-star Pesci.We assume they will both be campaigned in the supporting actor category.Pesci is quieter but just as good and some critics have already shown a preference for that performance in their reviews and reactions after Friday's premiere.But we think the Academy will prefer the big,loud,funny and audience-pleasing performance of the once-regular Oscar nominee.

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Reader Comments (1)

It would be nice if both made it but I feel only 1 will and it'll be Pacino.

September 28,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

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