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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 9: The Banality of Evil (Mission: Impossible III)

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.