Goodbye Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thank You For These 4 Films.

Earlier today, I was told the sad news that Philip Seymour Hoffman, celebrated actor, was found dead today in Manhattan at the age of 46.

Hoffman is responsible for many performances that I have truly enjoyed, but I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I loved his presence because it made me (and many others) feel uneasy. He was a fantastic villain, and he stole the show from other formidable leads on a consistent basis.

He will be surely missed. I’m not going to pretend as if I am qualified to declare what his best performances were as a sort of memoriam. I don’t know what they are, and I honestly don’t care.

First and foremost, I want to say goodbye and wish his family and friends well. They’re losing a good man. Second, I’m not going to get into how he passed away. At the time of this writing, nothing has been confirmed related to the cause of death, and it’s ultimately irrelevant.

So I’m going to honor his memory the only way I know how. By saying goodbye. To do that, I want to thank him for all of the films he put work and effort into for us to love. The following four films stand out to me, as they are my favorite performances by the cherished actor. Of course, I’m leaving out many great films, so please feel free to consider listing the films that impacted you in the comments.

4. Doubt

philip seymour hoffman doubt

I was unprepared for Doubt, a fictional, suspenseful story of a priest who is being accused of pedophilia by the head nun, played by Meryl Streep.

The performances in this film caught me years before I was mature enough to appreciate them. I can still feel the intensity of the conclusion, which affected the audience in a deliciously deceptive plot twist that still lingers in my head when I think back on the film.

3. The Big Lebowski

big lebowski philip seymour hoffman

Brandt (Hoffman): Her life is in your hands.
The Dude: Man, don’t say that, man.
Brandt: Mr. Lebowski asked me to repeat that: her life is in your hands.
The Dude: Oh, s***, man.
Brandt: Her life is in your hands, Dude.

2. Mission Impossible III

philip seymour hoffman mission impossible

There are plenty of other films I would place above this Tom Cruise action spy flick, but I feel compelled to include it due to the embarrassing fact that before I watched this movie, I had no idea who Philip Seymour Hoffman was.

Boy, did I learn, and if I hadn’t, I probably would have missed out on Pirate Radio.

1. Almost Famous

almost famous philip seymour hoffman

Hoffman was responsible for my favorite scene of this movie.

Lester Bangs (Hoffman): Aw, man. You made friends with them. See, friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on feeling like you belong.
William Miller: Well, it was fun.
Lester Bangs: They make you feel cool. And hey. I met you. You are not cool.
William Miller: I know. Even when I thought I was, I knew I wasn’t.
Lester Bangs: That’s because we’re uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don’t have any spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we’re smarter.
William Miller: I can really see that now.
Lester Bangs: Yeah, great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love… and let’s face it, you got a big head start.
William Miller: I’m glad you were home.
Lester Bangs: I’m always home. I’m uncool.
William Miller: Me too!
Lester Bangs: The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.
William Miller: I feel better.
Lester Bangs: My advice to you. I know you think those guys are your friends. You wanna be a true friend to them? Be honest, and unmerciful.

Goodbye Mr. Hoffman. Rest in peace.

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16 Replies to “Goodbye Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thank You For These 4 Films.”

  1. I first saw him in Along Came Polly. Everyone I knew said (and still says) that I look just like him. I JUST watched Catching Fire two days ago, and I was so looking forward to seeing him in Mockingjay. I know this will probably sound weird, but seeing as CF is his newest movie and I just saw it (for the third time) two days ago, when I first heard the news my first thought was, “But I JUST saw him!!”. This is truly a tragedy. raises wand (Harry Potter reference)

    • The Harry Potter reference is perfect Trevor! I too worry about the fate of Plutarch in Mockingjay, but those are small problems.

      • I agree, it’s not what’s important right now. Besides, if they can carry on with Fast Seven even though Paul Walker (the main character) died, I think they can manage with one of the major side character’s actor dying. Jennifer Lawrence said on Kimmel in early January that they are filming Mockingjay 1 & 2 back to back and that they were almost done filming the first one, so maybe they finished filming his parts? It would be a shame to film most of his parts then replace him. But it will also be surreal watching him two years from now in Mockingjay 2. Like watching Heath Ledger’s Joker months after he himself died.

  2. I adore him as Lester Bangs and use the “we’re uncool” line more often than I can even count.

  3. While I agree with your choices of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s work – I thought his best work was in Magnolia. Maybe because it is truly one of my favorite films, but a lot of that is because of his role as Phil Parma. It was a different character for him and he played it so well. So I think you should have thanked Philip Seymour Hoffman for five films or traded out Mission Impossible. Even though Philip Seymour Hoffman was good in it, the genre of the film brings it down. P.S. – I also loved him in Twister 🙂

    • I honestly have never seen Magnolia, so I’ll assume that you are correct in holding his performance in it to a high regard. In fact, now I feel compelled to see it per your recommendation, so thank you!

    • Same here. It hurts to think of all of the great performances that were still ahead of him.

  4. I must admit, I haven’t seen Mr. Hoffman in many films, but I saw Mary & Max a truly beautiful film, where Hoffman speaks the secomd main character, a guy with the aspie syndrom. RIP

  5. I know that I am showing my age… but my introduction to this amazing talent was in Twister. He caught my attention and made me a fan. Great way to “say goodbye” Jon.

  6. before I watched this movie, I had no idea who Philip Seymour Hoffman was <- Me too!!

    When I watched Catching Fire weeks ago, I found that this movie was great because Philip Seymour Hoffman. To remember him, I’ll watch all of the movies you mention above Jon. In fact, the only movie I watched was Mission Impossible III.

  7. I would highly recommend ‘Capote’ as well.

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