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13 Ways of Looking at Philip Seymour Hoffman
Posted September 18, 2009 to photo album "13 Ways of Looking at Philip Seymour Hoffman"
From Boogie Nights to Pirate Radio, Hoffman’s body of work never loses sight of his body.
Slide 10: The Charming Heavy (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
In Sidney Lumet’s tough (and at times tender) Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Hoffman switched sides with his earlier characters. In this story of a heist gone bad, the shambling, disordered loser role goes to Ethan Hawke, who plays Hoffman’s brother. Hoffman now is the tough-as-nails heavy, a man who commands everyone around him with slippery charm and just the whiff of violence. But as the Village Voice’s J. Hoberman points out, Hoffman’s various characters are housed in the same weighty presence: “Hoffman uses his bulk as a form of authority and a bulwark against the world; he's too versatile an actor to be considered playing against type. Andy is a dead-voiced, doughy mass of repressed rage who also has a secret life: He needs money to feed his drug habit and escape an embezzlement charge that's hanging over his head. Smacked out in a luxury shooting gallery, he tells the epicene proprietor: ‘All my parts don't add up.’”