Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

14 June 2011


I have heard many people say that their favorite actor from the 1970s is Dustin Hoffman or Robert De Niro. There's also Jack Nicholson and Jack Lemmon and Roy Scheider and Gene Hackman and Warren Beatty. I like all these guys, but my favorite - that's my story and I'm sticking to it - is Al Pacino and has been for ages.

It's easy to say that he yells a lot in his performances these days. Fine. He has a lot to yell about. But, let's just go back a moment: Serpico and The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II and Dog Day Afternoon and ...And Justice for All. are really just the beginning of a career for a man who has continued to produced excellent, surprising performances for the three decades since ...And Justice for All. The man continues to choose difficult roles and is choosing, more often than not, excellent material as well. It seems unfair to compare Angels in America or The Merchant of Venice to, say, Meet the Fockers and Everybody's Fine, but... well, I just made the comparison. My point is that I think Pacino has continued to challenge himself and add to his own work with engrossing and powerful performances even though he is over seventy years old. It's a fine body of work, and I hope the fine performances keep coming.

Love him.