9 items from 2014
(Sidney Lumet, 1973; Eureka!, 18)
An enduringly entertaining thriller, Serpico is important in three related contexts. First, it belongs to a remarkable cycle of police pictures made in the turbulent last years of the Vietnam war. Influenced by the success of Patton and its ambivalent appeal to Vietnam hawks and doves, Hollywood jumped off the youth bandwagon and on to the police paddy wagon with pictures about maverick cops fighting a lonely battle on America's lawless streets.
The most controversial were films on the right – The French Connection and Dirty Harry. The most amenable to liberals was this true story of the quietly idealistic Frank Serpico, an Italian-American hippy type, bearded and hairy, who first attempts to find a modus vivendi in the endemically corrupt New York police before blowing the whistle and nearly paying with his life. One of the grittiest, least romantic movies ever shot in New York, it's incisively edited by Dede Allen, »
- Philip French
The priest who advised Philip Seymour Hoffman on his role as Father Flynn in the movie Doubt presided at the actor's funeral Mass Friday. Fr. James Martin S.J., a Jesuit priest, met Hoffman when he came in to consult on the Labyrinth Theater Company's production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, which Hoffman directed in 2003. Martin then joined the company as a member, and later advised Hoffman on 2008's Doubt. The two spent time together at New York City's Saint Ignatius Church, where Martin taught Hoffman how a priest celebrates Mass. It was in that same church on »
- Allison Adato
In two decades of faultless performances, Philip Seymour Hoffman proved that his particular talent was to take thwarted, twisted humanity and ennoble it
The day after the premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson's 2012 film The Master, I was interviewing the director in the upstairs ballroom of a Venice hotel when Philip Seymour Hoffman walked past our table. The windows were flung open and the place was bathed with light, and the big, rangy actor bounced by gracefully, like a golden lion walking on air. "Phil's actually a really good dancer," Anderson confided, referencing the parlour routine in the middle of The Master, when the title character performs a jig with his nubile acolytes. "You might not think that to look at him, but he seriously is."
- Xan Brooks
Actor and director who could imbue the many wretches, prigs and braggarts he played with a wrenching humanity
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has died aged 46 of a suspected drugs overdose, had three names and 3,000 ways of expressing anxiety. He was a prolific and old-fashioned character actor, which is not a euphemism for "odd" – it means he could nail a part in one punch, summoning the richness of an entire life in the smallest gesture. And, yes, he could also look splendidly odd, with his windbeaten thatch of sandy hair, porcine eyes and a freckled face that would glow puce and glossy with rage. His acting style was immune to the temptations of caricature. His rise in the 1990s coincided with the emergence of a new wave of American film-makers, and his versatile, volatile talent became integral to some of the most original Us cinema of the past 20 years.
He was »
- Ryan Gilbey
The actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died in New York aged 46. We look back over his career in clips
Philip Seymour Hoffman has died aged 46 in New York. Peter Bradshaw's tribute to the actor is here, and Simon Hattenstone recalls interviewing him in 2011. Here's 10 of the best from a virtuosic talent.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Ten great performances? Philip Seymour Hoffman produced scores of them, dealing them out with a lordly abandon, in both lead roles and supporting turns. No shortlist worth its salt should ignore his brilliant early appearances in Nobody's Fool, Hard Eight or Boogie Nights. But, for the sake of brevity, let's start with his brief, delicious masterclass as Brandt, the gloriously obsequious Pa to a boorish billionaire, in the Coens' freewheeling 1998 classic The Big Lebowski. So what if the script gave him few lines to work with? Hoffman's embarrassed, defensive chuckle played like a comic monologue in itself. »
- Xan Brooks
Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead at his home in New York of a suspected drug overdose, aged 46. Born in Faripoint, New York in 1967, Hoffman began his career in the early 1990s with a guest role in Law & Order, but enjoyed his breakthrough in 1992 when he appeared in four films, including Scent of a Woman.
During the 1990s, he enjoyed film roles in the likes of The Getaway and Nobody's Fool, as well as making a small appearance in Paul Thomas Anderson's feature debut Hard Eight. He would reunite with Anderson on a further four films in Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love and The Master, as well as earning acclaim for a string of performances in films such as Happiness, Flawless, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous and Capote - the latter of which saw him receiving the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Following his Oscar success, »
- Gary Collinson
Philip Seymour Hoffman has died aged 46 and a unique talent lost. We have scores of indelible performances, but there would have been such riches to come
To anyone who has heard the terrible news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death in New York from a suspected overdose at the age of 46, I think one image recurs above all the others. It is his magnificent performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, playing the charismatic cult chief loosely derived from L Ron Hubbard — lordly and charismatic, convivial and yet sinister, insidious, insouciant.
And the most extraordinary moment was when he did his capering little dance, like a Shakespearian fool, in a wealthy drawing room, to "We'll Go No More A-Roving" and the scene took a hallucinatory turn, with all the onlookers appearing to be naked, submitting in that moment to his occult leadership. It was a scene only Hoffman could have carried off. »
- Peter Bradshaw
The film world was met with a devastating blow this afternoon after news broke that one of its finest contemporary actors, Philip Seymour Hoffman, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at age 46. In his nearly 25 year career, Hoffman gave us some of the greatest performances of recent cinema, from nearly every one of Paul Thomas Anderson's films to Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" and Mike Nichols' "Charlie Wilson's War" to his Academy Award winning work in Bennett Miller's "Capote." Looking back through the following 10 clips just gives a small dose of what Hoffman offered through his incredible career, and makes us all the more sad that we have lost what he could have given us in the future. Boogie Nights (1997): Happiness (1998): Flawless (1999): Magnolia (1999): Almost Famous (2000): Capote (2005): Charlie Wilson's War (2007): Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007): Doubt (2008): The »
- Peter Knegt
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 23 Jan 2014 - 05:44
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2006, and a further 25 overlooked gems...
With all the major films that elbow their way into their cinemas every year, there's bound to be some casualties among the big hits. And just like any other year, 2006 was dominated by the likes of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Da Vinci Code and Ice Age: The Meltdown. But in tandem, there were dozens of lesser-seen films which shuffled in and out of cinemas (or occasionally, didn't get a release in cinemas at all) without very many people noticing.
As we're sure you're aware by now, these lists aim to redress the balance a little, and hopefully introduce a few films from any given year that you may have missed. There are also one or two films that, although »
9 items from 2014
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