Voting Scarface as Pacino's absolute worst performance is a contrarian vote but I don't put too much thought about it winning a poll on here, we are few people and it's easy to create a "trend" on a poll, there is a chance that if the very first person who voted Scarface hasn't made that move, others would have also voted for something else. It's easy to encourage a vote in my opinion, especially a "shocking" one, like "Oh these 2 voted for Scarface and it's now leading the poll, let's vote for it too to show how much I think this movie/performance is overrated...even if in myself I know it isn't his worst ever".
But I also get why some people don't like it (purely based on the work), Tony Montana is such a loud character with so many excesses, all these verbal thrashing and screaming, that inconsistent accent, he can very much be seen as a complete caricature of a Cuban gangster and Pacino goes ALL out for it.
Say hello to my little friend I burry those cockroaches Bad guy coming through Who I trust? Me.
These are some of his most memorable lines in the movie. All scripted. With a script like that and lines like that, how on earth could he not be over the top? Montana as a character was supposed to be over the top. He was supposed to be a larger than life figure with a giant ego. Pacino had to overact and play it that way.
Could he be a little less loud? Probably yes. Could he play Montana as a down to earth guy? By no means.
Overacted a bit maybe, but that doesn't make it his worst perf ever.
What I think is that Montana, his most iconic role along with Corleone, is pretty much what all Pacino haters criticize him for: Loud and over the top.
Many would say: "What I don't like about Pacino is that he shouts and barks all the time. In Scarface for example". When ppl say this for your most iconic role, it's easy to be carried away and vote it for his worst ever.
Let's face it, nobody really cares for his acting in 88 mins or Jack and Jill because nobody cares for these movies. But for Scarface is a little different.
Those are fair points. I'd still say the greatest actor poll thing can be explained by a couple of things:
1. There are a handful of users on here that are huge Pacino fans, and are very passionate about his work. I'm not sure I've seen that kind of adoration on here for any other single actor by that number of people. Maybe Day-Lewis is close, but yeah.
2. He's a significantly popular actor whose best work is very widely seen. Of course, this goes for lots of other actors too, but when combined with my first point, I think that explains it without really having to "stretch" to figure out him winning + a decent amount of users not having seen his "bottom of the barrel" work too.
This is true but again not the complete truth because in his case the specific dynamic is sort of functioning within that larger aggregate - his fan base is rather weird in the best sense there - the closest I can compare him to in film is maybe a cult artist like Lynch but while being "bigger" than that at the same time.
A lot of Pacino fans actually ARE fans for what others "might" call his bottom of the barrel work. That is why people are often that passionate about his work in a way that on the surface seems very odd compared to any other actor. I didn't vote for him #1 (he was #3 on my list) but there are lots of people in the real world and on here that rate his marginal stuff in a very positive light - I myself have a low rated, 50 minute unreleased film in his Top 5 performances ever and heck look at Angelica Huston who just randomly mentioned "Salome" for Godsakes in a major interview as an example of how he's "experimental" - she could have picked a dozen or more others too.
This gives him a very odd allure as an actor that no one can quite replicate......it makes him more like an author where you read all his books, good or bad (Stephen King say?) or a band where you buy all their B-sides. He was #1 on our list yes but...........he just as easily could have been 10th or lower and it would have seemed as logical.