This Week in the Mercury


Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967-2014

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Yesterday's news was the worst: Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead at 46. Apparent heroin overdose.

Everyone who's ever seen Hoffman in a movie is sad about this, because of course they are—Hoffman's performances were usually the best thing about the movies he was in, and he was in a remarkable number of extraordinary movies. There are memorial pieces online, both high-minded and heartfelt, and just about all of them are touching.

I could contribute to those, as I—like everybody else, probably—feel like I have something to say about Hoffman's roles, starting with the first movie I remember being amazed by him in—Magnolia—and leading all the way up to the last thing he was great in, Catching Fire. (Apparently Hoffman still had some work to do for Mockingjay, but had filmed the majority of his scenes.) I won't add any more to the outpouring of sadness about Hoffman's death, but I will note that according to Tavis Smiley's Twitter, tonight PBS will be showing some of Smiley's interviews with Hoffman—looks like on OPB Plus, that'll be airing at 9:30 pm. I'll be watching that; in the meantime, I feel like a better way to remember Hoffman is to actually look at what he did.

All of these too-short sequences of film are well worth your time. I can't help but keep starting the last one again as soon as it finishes.

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