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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 9: The Banality of Evil (Mission: Impossible III)
Philip Seymour Hoffman had primarily worked in independent film, a medium often more fitting for his sizable talent. But in taking the role of arch enemy arms dealer Owen Davian in J.J. Abrams’ Mission: Impossible III, Hoffman proved he could imbue an otherwise cartoon character with something new. In his review for Entertainment Weekly, Owen Gleiberman focuses in on Hoffman’s role: “There's nothing old-fashioned, however, about Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance. Most great actors, when handed the role of a blockbuster villain, will ham it up with style, but Hoffman makes Davian a grubby banal monster.” In being so ordinary, so banal in his evil, Hoffman makes the arch enemy role even more frightening. Far from the preening mastermind of Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil, Hoffman’s Davian is ruled by simple greed, a quality that makes him perfectly understandable. His cruelty is not doled out from sadistic pleasure, but simply as part of doing business.