Listen to why Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the best actors of any generation

Categories: Film and TV

hoffman-the-master-publicity-shot.jpg
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (2012).

On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, this paper's film critics begin by honoring the career of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who tragically died on Sunday at the age of 46. Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl, after calling Hoffman "one of the best actors the screen has ever known," goes on to explain why he embodied the concept of the "done-deal actor." Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek, meanwhile, states, "He was my favorite living actor...He never, ever disappointed me." (Zacharek also takes a moment to single out Hoffman's performance in the little-seen 2003 film Owning Mahowny.) L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson, who considers Synecdoche, New York to be one of her two favorite films, adds the following: "I don't think he had a false bone in his body."

In an abrupt but necessary topic shift, the critics then discuss two of this week's high-profile releases, beginning with The Monuments Men, the latest directorial effort from George Clooney (The Ides of March). Nicholson, while professing an admiration for both Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov, nevertheless admits that she "couldn't stand a second of [the film]." Zacharek, though agreeing that the "movie is a complete disappointment as a whole," describes individual scenes with the actors -- particularly Bob Balaban and Bill Murray -- as "really wonderful."

To end the podcast, Nicholson and Scherstuhl clash over The Lego Movie, the new experiment in property-based entertainment from 21 Jump Street co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. In defending the film, Nicholson focuses on the ingenuity of Lord and Miller, saying, "they have a real knack for taking an established property and spinning it around." Scherstuhl agrees, but only to a point, and ultimately dismisses the film as "a grand and sprightly entertainment that I wanted to punch in the face."

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10 comments
Kari Mattison
Kari Mattison

Addiction is a disease. Doesn't matter how much you have to live for; fame, money, a loving partner or children. If you are an addict that can't get your habit under control, death is a very plausible outcome. This affects so many everyday individuals and their families. We only hear so much about these famous people because the world has a fascination with Hollywood. I believe this is a loss because PSH was such a talented guy. It's too bad he couldn't get it under control.....

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

Because people didn't praise him enough he turned to drugs? That seems like a bit of a leap.

Dtj Mc'Real
Dtj Mc'Real

i wish they just stop talking about him, shits gay yo

Dtj Mc'Real
Dtj Mc'Real

no we wont, he was a junkie, straight up crackhead and not even that good of an actor

Jessi Fraser
Jessi Fraser

Well maybe if actors would get more positive recognition like this while they are alive, they wouldn't feel the need to comfort their souls in drugs!

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Just another hollywood idiot . What do we learn from him ? Don't be a dummy and stick needles in your arms.

Colette Illarde
Colette Illarde

The Last Quartet is available on Netflix...the "flamenco scene" is a bit odd, though, just saying. Rest in peace Mr Hoffman

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

I miss The Master - and Scotty, and Brandt, and...

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