5 Favorites From Philip Seymour Hoffman

On February 2nd, 2014, the world lost one of the greatest actors of all time.  I cannot judge Philip Seymour Hoffman by his life outside of his movies, but I can say that he gave me hours of entertainment because of his work, and because of that, I will honor him with this list.  I guess the purpose of this is to urge you to check these out if you're unfamiliar with his work.  If you are familiar with his work, then enjoy the trip back.

5.  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 as Owen Davian

By all accounts, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 is a pretty average action movie, but MI:3 succeeded in one place where many modern action movies fail - it had an amazing villain.  Here, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Owen Davian, a maniacal arms dealer.  Watch the scene below, where he calmly counts to ten, threatening to blow Ethan Hunt's girlfriend while he watches.   


Watching Andy unraveling in front of our eyes is an amazing thing in BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD.  Alongside Ethan Hawke, the two brothers go on a journey through an unconventional robbery, with Seymour Hoffman doing most of the heavy lifting.

3.  THE MASTER as Lancaster Dodd

I thought that THE MASTER was incredibly overwhelming as a whole, but much like American Hustle, the individual performances were remarkable.  THE MASTER had two of the best performances of 2013 from both Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  As Lancaster Dodd, he led the beginnings of the Scientology movement, and in this scene, it really feels like he believes in it.

2.  BOOGIE NIGHTS as Scotty J.

My introduction to Philip Seymour Hoffman was as the pathetic Scotty J. in P.T. Anderson's BOOGIE NIGHTS.  His sloppy and confused turn as porn king Jack Turner's lighting tech was hilarious and heart breaking at the same time.  It will forever be cemented in my head because of this scene, where he shows Dirk Diggler his new ride.

1.  PUNCH DRUNK LOVE as Dean Trumbull, the Mattress Man

When someone mentions Adam Sandler, I look back at his entire catalogue with disdain...with PUNCH DRUNK LOVE being the one exception.  It's not for everyone, but something about it really resonated with me.  A big part of this is the opposition to Sandler's Barry Egan - Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dean Trumbull.  Every scene featuring Hoffman in PUNCH DRUNK LOVE is memorable, but I'll put my two favorites below.

There are a few performances of his that I regrettably have not seen yet (CAPOTE, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK & CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR) but I will soon.  He's also still got a few movies to come this year that have wrapped in GOD'S POCKET and A MOST WANTED MAN.

Jason KleebergComment