Venerated film star Al Pacino won a much-deserved Academy Award for his dynamic performance as a bombastic retired Army officer who has lost his sight but has not lost his passion for living. Chris O’Donnell plays a young college student who takes a job watching over the blind iconoclast. He learns rather quickly, however, how much he has yet to see and how much life he has yet to experience. A critically-acclaimed film that will entertain you as it renews your love of life. Also starring Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
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Al PacinoActorAlfredo James "Al" 'Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi) and Sal Pacino. They divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' home in the South Bronx. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies. Bored and unmotivated in school, he found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting onstage, he went through a period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to succeed to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many 1970s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, Pacino finally attained success off-Broadway with Israel Horovitz's "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie Award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?" His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a drug addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) after his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of other actors either wanted it or were mentioned, but director Francis Ford Coppola wanted Pacino for the role. Coppola was successful but Pacino was reportedly in constant fear of being fired during the very difficult shoot. The film was a monster hit that earned Pacino his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. However, instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico (1973) and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). He was nominated three consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly with Bobby Deerfield (1977), but regained his stride with And Justice for All (1979), for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Unfortunately, this would signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced flops like Cruising (1980) and Author! Author! (1982). Pacino took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult film Scarface (1983), but a monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution (1985) endured an endless and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was terrible, and Pacino fell ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script further derailed the project. The Revolutionary War-themed film, considered among the worst films ever made, resulted in awful reviews and kept him off the screen for the next four years. Returning to the stage, Pacino did much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers his first love. He directed a film, The Local Stigmatic (1990), but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love (1989) as a hard-drinking policeman. This marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Returning to the Corleones, Pacino made The Godfather: Part III (1990) and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful adaptation Dick Tracy (1990). This earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). He went into romantic mode for Frankie and Johnny (1991). In 1992, he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman (1992). A mixture of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business, turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way (1993) proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat (1995) directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro. He directed the film adaptation of Shakespeare's Looking for Richard (1996). During this period, City Hall (1996), Donnie Brasco (1997) and The Devil's Advocate (1997) all came out. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave commanding performances in The Insider (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999). In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including Ocean's Thirteen (2007), but his choice in television roles (the vicious, closeted Roy Cohn in the HBO miniseries Angels in America (2003) and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack (2010)) are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each television project garnered him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Never wed, Pacino has a daughter, Julie Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant, and a set of twins with former longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His romantic history includes Jill Clayburgh, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Carole Mallory, Debra Winger, Tuesday Weld, Marthe Keller, Carmen Cervera, Kathleen Quinlan, Lyndall Hobbs, Penelope Ann Miller, and a two-decade intermittent relationship with "Godfather" co-star Diane Keaton. He currently lives with Argentinian actress Lucila Solá, who is 36 years his junior.More
Philip Seymour HoffmanActorFilm and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ancestry. After becoming involved in high school theatrics, he attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a B.F.A. degree in Drama in 1989. He made his feature film debut in the indie production Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (1991) as Phil Hoffman, and his first role in a major release came the next year in My New Gun (1992). While he had supporting roles in some other major productions like Scent of a Woman (1992) and Twister (1996), his breakthrough role came in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997). He quickly became an icon of indie cinema, establishing a reputation as one of the screen's finest actors, in a variety of supporting and second leads in indie and major features, including Todd Solondz's Happiness (1998), Flawless (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), Almost Famous (2000) and State and Main (2000). He also appeared in supporting roles in such mainstream, big-budget features as Red Dragon (2002), Cold Mountain (2003) and Mission: Impossible III (2006). Hoffman was also quite active on the stage. On Broadway, he has earned two Tony nominations, as Best Actor (Play) in 2000 for a revival of Sam Shepard's "True West" and as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) in 2003 for a revival of Eugene O'Neill (I)'s "Long Day's Journey into Night". His other acting credits in the New York theater include "The Seagull" (directed by Mike Nichols for The New York Shakespeare Festival), "Defying Gravity", "The Merchant of Venice" (directed by Peter Sellars), "Shopping and F*@%ing" and "The Author's Voice" (Drama Desk nomination). He is the Co-Artistic Director of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York, for which he directed "Our Lady of 121st Street" by Stephen Adly Guirgis. He also has directed "In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings" and "Jesus Hopped the A Train" by Guirgis for LAByrinth, and "The Glory of Living" by Rebecca Gilman at the Manhattan Class Company. Hoffman consolidated his reputation as one of the finest actors under the age of 40 with his turn in the title role of Capote (2005), for which he won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award as Best Actor. In 2006, he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for the same role. On February 2, 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in an apartment in Greenwich village, New York. Investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and two open envelopes of heroin next to him. Mr. Hoffman was long known to struggle with addiction. In 2006, he said in an interview with "60 Minutes" that he had given up drugs and alcohol many years earlier, when he was age 22. In 2013, he checked into a rehabilitation program for about 10 days after a reliance on prescription pills resulted in his briefly turning again to heroin.More