Loss of another great actor

Three of my favourite films featuring Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Big Lebowski.

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Big Lebowski.

Amid reports from the Wall Street Journal and others that Phillip Seymour Hoffman has died in his New York apartment of an alleged drug overdose, I find my brain shuffling through all the memorable scenes he was in that had an impact on the film I was watching. Before I find somewhere to watch the Superbowl, I’ve decided to try my own version of what everyone on the planet who considers themselves a film buff is doing today: My favourite Phillip Seymour Hoffman films.

Now first let me quickly clarify so there isn’t uproar (debate is always welcome, though) over this list. This isn’t going to be “Hoffman’s best performances,” as I certainly haven’t seen them all, so that would be unreasonable. It also won’t be “The best films Hoffman had a role in,” as, once again, I haven’t seen them all, so how could I possibly make such a list? This is simply “My favourite films that he had a role in,” as a small token of my appreciation for his art. The best part is that I can’t be “wrong” this way.

In no particular order (since “my favourite films” on any list change order frequently based on which one I’ve seen most recently), I give you my top three favourite films featuring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I wanted to do more, but I had to limit myself, or you’d be reading all day.

Pirate Radio (2009)

This fun romp about a group of rogue radio jockeys who broadcast from the North Sea in the 1960s is a fictional account of historical happenings in broadcasting—let’s call it “creative non-fiction.” With an overzealous British government bent on controlling the airwaves, Quentin (played by Bill Nighy) has launched a rebel radio station off the coast to avoid prosecution, and has brought on board an eclectic crew to help him out, including American radio star “The Count” (Hoffman).

Between the performances of Hoffman, Nighy and Rhys Ifans (a very underrated actor who makes everything he’s in better, too), this is a fun flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously, while examining some serious issues like censorship, friendship and family dynamics.

Punch Drunk Love (2002)

People look at me weird when I say that my favourite Adam Sandler film is Punch Drunk Love (well, it used to be until I saw Reign Over Me a few years ago, anyway).

It’s not funny.

Sure there are some humourous parts in it, but it examines the budding relationship between two psychologically troubled individuals (Sandler and Emily Watson) and the tone of the film is… let’s say “dark.”

I won’t give away anything for people who haven’t seen it. Just don’t expect the typical over-the-top Sandler of Happy Gilmour or Billy Madison, and when you see Hoffman, nod and smile about me being right on this.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

This is maybe my favourite film of all time, so it’s obviously going to be on this list. Joel and Ethan Cohen are cinematic geniuses, and this is one of their best.

I don’t really know what to say about this film other than that every performance is exactly on point. If you don’t know what I’m talking about or why this film is on this list, sit down and watch it.

The cut to Hoffman when Tara Reid says “I’ll suck your cock for a thousand dollars,” (see screenshot above) is one of his best moments on film.

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