Phillip Seymour Hoffman was something of an American legend. Though he started his career with a bit part on the television series “Law & Order,” he quickly found work as a quirky actor in a series of independent films and darker fare before transitioning to the world of big budget action films. Hoffman picked up three Oscar nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and snagged one Oscar win. Following his untimely death this month, let’s take a look back at his five best films.
It’s impossible to list Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s top films without including the 2006 flick “Capote.” Not only did he win an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, but he also won several other prominent roles for his performance. As a writer tasked with authoring a book on a tragic event in a small town, he somehow brought a lightness to the role that no viewer will soon forget.
“The Master” earned Capote his fourth Oscar nomination and fourth Golden Globe nomination. Though he didn’t win that year, those who watch the film will certainly believe that he deserved to win. Loosely based on the beginnings of Scientology, Hoffman played the leader of a new religion who roles his roost and those around him with an iron fist. While he wasn’t the star of the film, his intensity made viewers watch him closely.
“Along Came Polly”
While most people won’t remember Hoffman from this little scene and largely criticized comedy, he did something that few actors can do: he stole the show from Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller. Only Hoffman could get away with such lines as “This is serious. I just sharted,” and “He’s a sexy guy. He’s sexy. He’s sexually active in his community.”
In “The Savages,” Hoffman starred alongside Laura Linney, another Hollywood star best known for independent films. The two played siblings tasked with caring for their elderly father. Linney received an Oscar nomination and Hoffman received a Golden Globe nomination for the film. Anyone who ever dealt with the issues of caring for a loved one will understand why this film is so unsettling to watch.
Released as “The Boat That Rocked” in other countries, this film was partially based on a true story. A young man finds himself caught in the tumultuous world of 1960’s rock music when his parents send him to live with his grandfather, who runs a pirate radio station. As one of the few American actors in the film, Hoffman does a phenomenal job as the laid back DJ who announces, “I intend to broadcast from this ship 24 hours a day until the day I die. And then for a couple days after that.”
Though Hoffman’s death surprised many in the Hollywood community, he made a number of films that will live on and keep fans talking about him. The actor was one of the few who could transition easily between comedy, action, and drama. Hoffman had several films in production when he died, including roles in the upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.”