The Death of Hollywood’s Greatest Method Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s 5 Best Performances

Feb 12, 2014 at 10:00 am |
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Last week was a very sad seven days for Hollywood. Philip Seymour Hoffman, arguably the best method actor of his generation, was found dead in his hotel room on February 2, 2013. He was apparently the victim of a drug overdose.

Hollywood will continue to mourn the lost of Hoffman. Considered the ideal supporting actor, Hoffman was brilliant, likable, emotionally profound and caring. Hoffman was nothing if not captivating on screen.

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Seymour Hoffman’s 5 best performances were:

5. Charlie Wilson’s War


Without question, Philip Seymour Hoffman stole the show. From his first scene forward, all eyes are drawn to Hoffman. His character is brash, abrasive, rude, conniving and at the same time honest, real, brilliant and lovable and Hoffman plays the roll perfectly.

It is impossible to imagine anyone else stealing the spotlight with a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Ned Beatty, but Hoffman did it and he did it with ease.

4. Truman Capote


Hoffman won the Academy Award for his leading role in the film that illustrates the life of the enigmatic author Truman Capote. The film is chilling from beginning to end, but not because of the brutal nature of the storyline, but instead, because of Hoffman’s portrayal of a man so haunted by his own ghosts, he is willing to interview a convicted murderer whom has no compunction with nor problem admitting his guilt. In the end, the film leaves the audience speechless.

Hoffman leaves the audience with chills.

3. The Ides of March


Again, in a movie filled with Hollywood Superstars — Clooney, Gosling and Paul Giamatti — Hoffman was the most real and believable character on screen. Playing the moral compass, a role Hoffman always excelled at, he seems to be the only honest figure in the entire world-of-politics setting of the movie. As in both Capote and Charlie Wilson’s War, Hoffman draws the line in the sand between right and wrong.

The biggest let-down of the movie was too little Hoffman

2. The Savages


A critical favorite and a box-office bust, The Savages is the ultimate movie about sibling failure and redemption. Forced to take care of their dying father a brother and sister pair are forced to face their demons together and in doing so they not only learn that they are not so unalike, but that they also have a profound love and respect for one another.

Only an actor the caliber of Hoffman could have made this movie anything. Hoffman managed to make it profoundly rich and rewarding. As a result, it was on 15 of the country’s most renowned critics’ Top Ten lists in 2007.

1. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead


Another film about a dysfunctional family, Hoffman hadn’t played as contemptuous a role since his part in the Al Pachino hit, Scent of a Woman. A movie with as many bizarre plots and strange twists and any in the 2000’s, Hoffman once again stole the show with his portrayal of a desperate man who convinces his brother to rob their parents’ jewelry store.

Hoffman, maybe the nicest actor of his generation, is so evil in his role as Andy Hanson that it makes the stomach churn.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was a genius Hollywood actor whose passing was far too soon and whose contribution to the silver screen will not be forgotten.