Sunday, February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Us Too Soon

As you may have heard, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment.  He was only 46 years old.  Hoffman is an actor that I always thought would be there.  Every time he was on screen, it felt as if I was really seeing him for the first time.  At the same time, I was always taken aback by his incredible presence on screen.  I miss him already.

I just wanted to mention some of the roles I really loved him in.  

In Paul Thomas Anderson's multi-layered opus Magnolia, Hoffman played a male nurse helping his patient track down his estranged son.  

I think the first thing I really remember seeing him in was The Talented Mr. Ripley.  He becomes very suspicious of Matt Damon's Tom Ripley the moment he meets him, and he isn't shy about expressing his feelings in front of anyone.  Hoffman had a knack for playing crude, slimy characters to well, and in Ripley he got to do it with such an arrogant flourish.  

He won a Best Actor Oscar in 2006 for playing Truman Capote.  His performance in that film is unlike anything else he was given the opportunity to do.  

In Boogie Nights, he played a porn mic operator named Scotty J.  He gives such a sad and sweet performance.  There is a hilarious shot of him holding the mic over his head when Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler first whips it out on set.  

As Father Flynn, Hoffman went toe to toe with Meryl Streep in the grand parable, Doubt.  Those actors together on screen would rivet anyone watching.  

Hoffman's career is stuffed with memorable performances.  These mentioned are only a few in a vast list.  We can't forget his great work in other movies like Almost Famous, The Master, Charlie Wilson's War, Happiness, Twister, The Ides of March and The Savages.  Hoffman so effortlessly threw himself into his roles that I imagine other actors in his field marveled at how easy he made it looks.  He will truly be missed.  

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