This is my review on Phillip Seymour Hoffman and his acting career. This is an actor who personifies excellence in every since of the word. He has had some of the best character work in the last two decades to some of the most memorable roles in movies during his twenty five year acting career. A powerful man, he always brings the intensity in every character he portrays.
The first movie role I saw him in was Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Where he portray’s a light heart’ed man who figures out that Tom Ripley isn’t who he seems. Playing characters who we can’t relate to is his strong suit. With roles in Boogie Nights and Magnolia he transforms into Scotty J. a lover at heart and Phil Parma an investigator with a lot of grace and temperament. Playing serious characters is the norm though for him as in Mission Impossible III, Doubt and Moneyball. Portraying the villain Owen Davian in M:I.III was right up his alley because he really had a mad side to him. Portraying Father Brendan Flynn was a difficult role because it was such a subtle performance and very nuanced. Acting opposite three time Oscar winner Meryl Streep was definitely a challenge for Hoffman. One of his frequent collaborators was Paul Thomas Anderson Magnolia, Boogie Nights and The Master. A very good collaboration he has was with a man he ended up winning his first and only Oscar. That was for Capote. Where he portrays Truman Capote a man lost until he finds love and a story of a life time in two prisoners convicted of murder on death row. Whose story he turns in to the best selling novel In Cold Blood. A role that get over looked is one where he portrays the manager of the Oakland A’s during a slumping season. He butts heads with the general manager Billy Bean played by Brad Pitt. They eventually figure out how to turn a bad team into a winner by using sabermetrics.
Hoffman does the impossible when he plays characters you don’t think he can. That’s why he is so incomparable. Teaming with Paul Thomas Anderson for the third time he goes mono e mono with Joaquin Phoenix, Freddie Quell, as Lancaster Dodds. He’s works opposite Ryan Gosling and George Clooney in the political drama The Ides of March, where he plays Paul Zara a campaign manager to Clooneys Governer Mike Morris and mentor to Gostling’s Stephan Myers. A role that sets him apart from the rest though is as a CIA Agent in Charlie Wilson’s War. Hoffman plays Gus Avrakotos a no nonsense guy who goes after what he wants when asked by Tom Hanks Charlie Wilson.
I have been watching this great actor for many years in many roles but, it wasn’t the acting that made him a great person it was the performances that transended the roles. He made you believe he was these characters even if you didn’t like the people he played or the movie. Phillip Seymour Hoffman will always be remembered fro his amazing portrayals of amazing people but, remember he has been and has done more on the stage and on film then most his age. He died at the age of 46. He definitely had a lot more great roles in him. For instance Plutarch Heavensby in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. He has already filmed most of his scenes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, where young and old fans will get to experience the fantastic actor he is in an huge fan film trilogy!