On Sunday, the film world lost one of its most talented and beloved actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was 46. While much has been written in the past few days about his life, death, and demons, we'd like to look back and celebrate some of the unforgettable performances he gave in his all too short career. Click through to see some of Philip Seymour Hoffman's finest movie moments.
This video by Vimeo user Nelson Carvajal captures many of Hoffman's finest on-screen moments, and is bittersweet viewing. It drives home the depth of the man's talent, and the loss, not only to his grieving family and friends, but the audiences who will be denied the talents of one of his generation's greatest actors.
An unlikely movie star, Hoffman started in theater. In a NY Times Magazine piece from 2008, he discusses his first experience with drama, when, at the age of twelve, he saw a local production of "All My Sons," the classic Arthur Miller play:
When I saw ‘All My Sons,’ I was changed — permanently changed — by that experience. It was like a miracle to me. But that deep kind of love comes at a price: for me, acting is torturous, and it’s torturous because you know it’s a beautiful thing. I was young once, and I said, That’s beautiful and I want that. Wanting it is easy, but trying to be great — well, that’s absolutely torturous.
Though he directed plays and stayed active in the theater throughout his career, it was on film that he made the biggest impression. An appearance as an odious preppy in 1992's Scent of a Woman (he took what could have been a fairly humdrum, clichéd role, and elevated it into a memorable performance) made Hollywood take notice, and thereafter he worked steadily as a character actor, going back and forth between theater and film. His most frequent film collaborator was P.T. Anderson; he appeared in the director's underseen debut, Hard Eight, and the two would go on to collaborate several more times, in Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, and, mostly recently, The Master.
This scene, from Boogie Nights, is arguably what made the movie world start to view Hoffman as a serious talent. As Scotty, the lovelorn porn PA, Hoffman, in two minutes, captures a universe of awkward, tragic emotion that never feels less than painfully real.
In 2006, he won the Academy Award for his portrayal of tortured writer Truman Capote:
Though he had entered the ranks of Hollywood's elite, Hoffman never lost his indie spirit, and his directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating, was a quiet, character-driven movie, based on a play of the same name:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEPjHlQlItY
He will be missed. What were some of your favorite Hoffman performances?
[via Nelson Carvajal]