Sunday, February 2, 2014

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Someone on Twitter said it best, it's disheartening to see one of your favorite actors trending only to find out that they've passed away. It was especially disheartening to see that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away today. I'm convinced that most actors in Hollywood are merely pretty faces with a little bit of dramatic training and a LOT of luck. Hoffman was the opposite. Hoffman was immensely talented and by his own admission, not traditionally handsome. Hoffman no doubt had to work doubly hard to achieve the success that he eventually did.


Hoffman was the type of actor to come along once or perhaps twice in a generation. Hoffman had a 23 year career in film and an even longer career in theater. He had presence and gravitas. He stole every scene I've seen him in. I haven't had occasion to write about Hoffman before because my blog's focus is SciFi and Fantasy. Most of Hoffman's work was in dramatic films. In fact, the only science fiction film I can think of him in was last year's 'Catching Fire.' But this SciFi fan was a fan of Hoffman because of his brilliant work in films like 'Doubt,' 'Capote,' 'The Master,' and 'The Ides of March.' My personal favorite Hoffman film is 'The Savages,' which is about a dysfunctional pair of siblings forced to come together to help their estranged father who is suffering from dementia. In 'The Savages' as in 'Doubt,' Hoffman showed that he was a master of subtlety. Any actor can overact, it takes a great actor to know how and when to pull back. Hoffman was such an actor.

Hoffman had such a natural ease in front of the camera that I never doubted him in any role I saw him in, not for a second. Today, the movies has suffered a tremendous loss. It may matter to some people that Hoffman died today of an apparent drug overdose, but it doesn't matter to me. I have said on Twitter and I'll say on my blog, I have yet to meet a perfect person with no struggles or problems. So I will say what I say in every "In Memoriam" post, my God rest his soul and Godspeed. He will be missed at the movies.

9 comments:

  1. Yes, he was only 46. Too soon. Just too soon.

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  2. Very nice tribute. Such a sad end to a truly remarkable career.

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  3. I'm glad you mentioned that the reason for his passing doesn't matter. Nobody has the right to talk about person's struggles like they know what happened and people tend to forget that addiction is a disease.

    Such a horrible loss for movie world, he was one of the best.

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  4. Jeremy-- I agree. It was hard to believe.

    David-- Yes, yes he will!

    Keith-- Thanks. He had an amazing career and he will be missed.

    Sati-- Thanks. I have been getting really irritated with people who keep talking about how he died and thus he doesn't deserve any sympathy. The man was sober for 23 years. He was struggling with addiction. I struggle with other things so does everyone else. Why do people feel they have the right to judge him?

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  5. He very much elevated the profile of anything he starred in, even if it wasn't that good. The point is that some of his film choices may have seemed beneath him, but he was never short of fantastic in them.

    One the best of his generation. Such a great loss.

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  6. A brilliant actor for sure Ms. Mariah. I've never seen someone that can become as big or as small as he needed to be to fit a role. A sad loss and I hope they convict the dealers who supplied him.

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