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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 1: Introduction
Slide 2: The Pathetic Loser (Boogie Nights)
Slide 3: The Perv (Happiness)
Slide 4: The Officious Extra (The Big Lebowski)
Slide 5: The Ringmaster (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
Slide 6: The Insider's Outsider (Almost Famous)
Slide 7: The Designated Mourner (Love Liza)
Slide 8: The Sincere Dandy (Capote)
Slide 9: The Banality of Evil (Mission: Impossible III)
Slide 10: The Charming Heavy (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
Slide 11: Macho Bastard (Charlie Wilson's War)
Slide 12: The Contender (Doubt)
Slide 13: Pillar of His Own World (Synecdoche, New York)
Slide 14: The Rock 'n' Roller (Pirate Radio)
Slide 6: The Insider's Outsider (Almost Famous)

Slide 6: The Insider's Outsider (Almost Famous)

If Hoffman began his career as a loser, he soon turned that sense of marginality into a choice rather than a punishment. In Almost Famous, Hoffman plays the cynically idealistic real-life music journalist Lester Bangs who wises up the film’s hero William Miller (Patrick Fugit) on the reality of the rock scene. It’s a fine line to play both jaded and passionate, angry and adoring, at the same time, but Hoffman pulls it off so poetically that he reveals how those contradictions are simply different sides of the same coin. Kenneth Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Superbly played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, more and more the most gifted and inspired character actor working in film, what could have been the clichéd portrait of an older mentor who speaks the straight truth blossoms into a marvelous personality.”