Philip Seymour Hoffman
When the world lost Philip Seymour Hoffman in February of this year, it was hard to believe that a man with such range, skill and accomplishment would almost never be seen again on a big screen. A giant of acting, Hoffman also had an esteemed career playing one of the most diverse collections of characters in any actor’s filmography, a cavalcade of honest men and criminals, outsiders and insiders, some winners but mostly losers. His devotion to making these characters’ struggles feel true was not lost on a variety of excellent directors, those who helped to launch his career and later used him brilliantly once he was a noted film star.
To read off his filmography is to take a leap back into the last 15 years of terrific American cinema. Taking some time off to do a role for the money would be the last thing Hoffman could ever do, and fans of indie and mainstream cinema constantly found new ways to appreciate the actor.
When I had to help work on a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman for this site, it was hard to only choose a few performances to write about. He had so much talent and brought depth to so many films in his too-short career, boosting their quality and their place in American film history. It is appropriate that for his last starring role, in Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, Hoffman got the chance to play a good guy. For all of the off-kilter roles he portrayed, he will best be remembered for being a genuine and generous man.
Certified Fresh Films: Scent of a Woman, Nobody’s Fool, Boogie Nights, Happiness, The Big Lebowski, Next Stop Wonderland, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia, Almost Famous, State and Main, Punch-Drunk Love, 25th Hour, Owning Mahowny, Capote, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Savages, Doubt, Mary and Max, The Ides of March, Moneyball, A Late Quartet, The Master, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, A Most Wanted Man
A Spot of Bother: Flawless, Patch Adams, Along Came Polly, God’s Pocket
Up Next: He will star as Plutarch Heavensbee in the final two installments of the Hunger Games franchise.