14 essential performances by the great Philip Seymour Hoffman
This morning began early for me with a soccer practice for Toshi, and when I walked into the house around noon, I had no idea anything had happened. Twenty seconds of looking at Twitter, though, immediately had me rushing to the e-mail to check, and sure enough, there was a long e-mail thread already being sent back and forth by the rest of the editorial staff of HitFix about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Even now, a few hours later, it seems surreal to me that he's genuinely gone. I suspect it will take a while for it to seem real to me, especially since he's still got a number of performances set to be released. As we discussed his passing this morning, we all had different performances and moments that we brought up, moments that meant so much to us.
While it's impossible to articulate the loss that has occurred today, what we can do is offer up some thoughts on what his work meant to us. Even this feels like we're just glancing over his remarkable filmography, just barely articulating the depth of what he expressed through his work over the years.
This is a guy who was intimately acquainted with pain and sorrow, and he was able to paint with a dense emotional palette. He could play a role like the lead in "Love Liza," a guy burying his grief in substance abuse, just as easily as he could etch a memorable bad guy role in "Mission: Impossible III." I've always loved his character in that film just because it was such an interesting riff on a cliche. In so many "Mission: Impossible" episodes, they'd have some poor schmuck get knocked out by the IMF team, and then one of them would make a mask of his ace and impersonate him to pull off some part of their plan. Hoffman played one of those guys who decided that he wasn't going to let that sleight go unanswered. He finally gave voice to every poor extra who the heroes treated badly, and he played it like someone who refused to be anyone's background player.
This gallery isn't meant to be a definitive break-down of every single highlight in his career. That would, frankly, be impossible. Even in lesser films, he's capable of delivering a scene or a moment or a line that stands out because of the truth behind it. Hoffman was, above all else, brutally honest in his work, and that just makes this morning feel even more painful.
I have no doubt that as long as we are still watching and sharing film as a medium, the work of Philip Seymour Hoffman will be part of that conversation.
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
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