Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hoffmania ...

Philip Seymour Hoffman is a busy, busy man.

In the past few weeks, I've seen three of his films: The Savages, Charlie Wilson's War, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Is there a role the man can't play?

If there is, he hasn't found it yet.

He's moved far, far away from his cocky prepster persona. Remember him in Scent of a Woman?

Now flash forward and think about him in Capote.

Yeah, that's what I mean.

He's great as the rumpled genius in Charlie ... and he was frighteningly detached in The Savages, but his performance in Before ... is the stand out of the year. Yet he was nominated for Charlie .... Go figure.

I was just mentioning to someone the other day (no, I can't remember who; I'm old!) that with certain actors, I can't buy their performances anymore. I just see "them" as their real selves. The first example that sprang to mind was Tom Cruise. You can spray his hair silver and stick in him the back seat of a cab and make him an assassin, but I still see Tom Cruise.

But with Hoffman, I buy into his characters every time. Maybe it's because I don't know much about him personally. He's not tabloid fodder. (Not that I read the tabloids. But that doesn't matter anymore, does it? The mainstream media has become the biggest tabloid of them all.)

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