Truman Capote died at 59 due to complications from alcoholism/drug intoxication. Philip Seymour Hoffman just died at 46 years of age from a heroin overdose. And I’m 35 and have caught a cold. These things all have me vaguely confused this afternoon; confused and a bit depressed.
Hoffman first really came on my radar in 1997 with Boogie Nights. A lot of things were coming to my attention at that time, particularly in movies as I had kind of really honestly figured out that the characters in them were not real and the actors behind these depictions were either highly skilled artisans or talentless pretty it-boys distractedly plugged into a film project because that’s the formula. Hoffman made it strikingly clear which category applied to him immediately and never wavered. Ever.
Personal favorites for me are easy to recall as I have the majority of them on DVD and they’ve been watched multiple times. The Big Lebowski, The Talented Mr. Ripley, State and Main, The 25th Hour, MI3, The Savages, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Ideas of March and of course Capote.
Personal favorite lines delivered by Hoffman in film are no less plentiful and vibrant; possibly to the point of being unforgettable.
His body of work and the distinct signature he left on everything he was involved in, regardless of who stood opposite him on set, is expansive and even august. Punctuated with smaller roles that rip through the body of a film and skew the focus of the spot light, his tenure in cinema has been desperately needed and will undoubtedly be sorely missed.
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