Essential Philip Seymour Hoffman performances
Freddie Miles in 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'
Anthony Minghella's classic dramatic thriller featured a number of young actors giving some of the finest performances of their career, but one actor consistently blew everyone off screen, Hoffman. As Freddie Miles, Hoffman brought new life to the spoiled, established rich American who immediately realized that this Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) was not everything he claimed to be. "Boogie Nights" showcased Hoffman's wide range of talent, but Freddie was the type of poking, droll and ready to verbally rip you to shreds character Hoffman would eventually return to again and again. Freddie's final confrontation with Tom is testament to Minghella, Hoffman and Damon's talents. You are supposed to recoil realizing that Freddie is now the ultimate danger to Tom's happiness and Hoffman sells it hardcore. Freddie might be on the "right," but when Tom takes action you breathe a sigh of relief. Few actors besides Hoffman could have pulled this off and it's arguably one of his top five performances on screen. Hoffman and Mingella, two talents who left us far too soon.
- Gregory Ellwood