Al Pacino received his third Oscar nomination for again playing Michael Corleone the head of the Corleone crime family in the Godfather Part 2.
The greatest being Al Pacino's performance as Michael Corleone. Michael now is cold and a much darker man than he was at the beginning of the first one. His transformation though is not fully complete and that is part of the brilliance of this performance. Michael begins in this fully in control of the Corleone family. Pacino shows very well the cold calculating character of Michael now. The way his face conveys that he is always business and always determined to succeed. He has no joy in his work here but only determination for power.
It is interesting to compare how Pacino handles Micheal early dealing compared to how Brando handles Vito's dealings. Pacino is always cold and proficient. He always seems fully in charge as Michael and all to intelligent. Nothing causes him to accept defeat, Pacino completely convinces us of his nature. Michael never seems to be acting cold, and dark, but instead that is merely what he is. Pacino is perfect at completely establishing Michael as a fully realized person.
Pacino is great throughout the film but he has some particular stand out scenes that show the brilliance of his performance. Such as when he realizes Fredo's betrayal and then when he tells Fredo of the betrayal. Both scenes Pacino excels and creates incredibly effective scenes. Also the scene where Kay tells Micheal about the abortion. Pacino face as he realizes what she is saying is incredible. Finally the last scene where it shows the differences between the young Micheal and the current Micheal. Pacino makes the transition of the character believable, and fully memorable. Pacino performance is essential for the film, and Pacino does absolutely nothing wrong in this performance and is simply perfect. It is a performance that is hard describe because of the withdrawn nature of so much of it, but it is a perfect and unforgettable performance.