The news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death on February 2nd 2014 came as a shock – wave for the movie world, as Academy Award winning actor didn’t show any sign of sickness or any clue that he would be leaving us so soon. Although his sudden demise is still under investigation, the media jumped on assuming the cause of death was, what else, a drug overdose, as Hoffman had a history of abuse that seemed to have laid dormant for the last 20 years, but was there and it showed its ugly face not so long ago.
But no matter how we speculate, no matter what judgements we pass in the days to come, no matter how we blend facts with suppositions, the truth is only one, and it is as painful as it can be: he won’t come back, the world losing thus a star that had the potential and the brilliance to keep us entertained for many years. As a tribute to this great artist, we will look at five great Philip Seymour Hoffman movies to celebrate his career and remember some of his most outstanding performances. And while perhaps the younger generation associates his name and figure with the more recent Hunger Games franchise, we will go back in time and see some of his greatest accomplishments.
5. Charlie Wilson’s War – 2007
This is a drama brilliantly led by super star Tom Hanks, but the movie made the Oscar Award Nominations due to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s role. He played CIA agent, Gustav “Gust” Avrakotos, a man of many skills and many faces. While the audience knew that Tom Hanks can act beyond any comedy boundaries and turn a drama into a blockbuster, it was Hoffman’s performance that took the movie to the Oscars. Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Hoffman made the world realize he was indeed a sophisticated chameleon, a man who could interpret any character and do it beyond any imagination.
4. Doubt – 2008
The iconic figure of Father Brendan Flynn opposing iron – lady Sister Aloysius Beauvier was another Hoffman role that took his steps on the right carpet, once again nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. The dynamics between him and Meryl Streep are breath taking, while the movie was nominated for 5 Oscars. It is something to see, independently from Hoffman’s performance, but it got ten times better with him in it.
3. The Ides of March – 2011
A great political movie that indeed gathered an assembly of cinema gods makes this list of five great Philip Seymour Hoffman movies to celebrate his career not only because it is a famous movie with a famous cast that put their hands on a lot of nominations and awards but proved once again that Hoffman could play any character and could turn any movie in a masterpiece. His performance is flawless and made his name forever be remembered in the history of cinema.
2. The Master – 2012
For this performance, Hoffman won the Critics Choice Award in 2013 for Best Supporting Actor and a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar Award nomination. The movie itself received 3 Oscar nominations and it is still one of the most powerful movies to date. Hoffman shines bright playing Lancaster Dodd and reminding everybody that he was a true artist when it comes to dramatic movies.
1. Capote – 2005
We can all safely conclude that 2005 and, subsequently, 2006, were Philip Seymour Hoffman’s years in cinema. For his leading role in 2005 crime / drama as Truman Capote, Hoffman left home that year, and the next, with all major movie awards in the industry. An Oscar Award for his leading performance, a Golden Glove for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, the BAFTA Film Award for best actor, the Critics Choice Award and a few more. It was by far his best performance and one might wonder why he didn’t insisted on receiving lead roles from then on, but now, unfortunately, this is a question we will never have an answer for.
There are more than five great Philip Seymour Hoffman movies to celebrate his career, and if you remember bits and pieces of the Great Lebowski, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Mission: Impossible III or The Boat That Rocked, you will realize that Hoffman’s presence managed to light up the ski and make a movie memorable. Rest in peace Philip Seymour Hoffman, you will be missed!