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Tortured. Talented. Tragic. The range of roles Philip Seymour Hoffman played was nothing short of incredible. A private funeral service will be held today for the 46-year-old actor, who died of a heroin overdose Sunday in his Manhattan apartment, ending a decades-long battle against addiction and inner demons. While the behavior cant be condoned, its important we remember the great work of a true artist. This Sunday, Rhino Bar in Georgetown will host a movie marathon of some of his best work. Until then, WTOP Film Critic Jason Fraley ranks his favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances.

Tortured. Talented. Tragic. The range of roles Philip Seymour Hoffman played was nothing short of incredible. A private funeral service will be held today for the 46-year-old actor, who died of a heroin overdose Sunday in his Manhattan apartment, ending a decades-long battle against addiction and inner demons. While the behavior can't be condoned, it's important we remember the great work of a true artist. This Sunday, Rhino Bar in Georgetown will host a movie marathon of some of his best work. Until then, WTOP Film Critic Jason Fraley ranks his favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances.
Even when he wasnt winning Oscars, Hoffman delivered some of our biggest blockbuster hits, from Mission Impossible III (2006) to The Hunger Games Catching Fire (2013). In fact, the first time many of us saw him was in Twister (1996), providing the comic relief to Bill Paxton and Helen Hunts tornado-chasers. Hed return to comic-relief roles in Along Came Polly (2004) with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.

Even when he wasn't winning Oscars, Hoffman delivered some of our biggest blockbuster hits, from "Mission: Impossible III" (2006) to "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (2013). In fact, the first time many of us saw him was in "Twister" (1996), providing the comic relief to Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt's tornado-chasers. He'd return to comic-relief roles in "Along Came Polly" (2004) with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.
The Big Lebowski is a better movie overall than several on this list, but Hoffmans role was so small that it belongs toward the bottom. Even so, his laugh is infectious as the right-hand man of Mr. Lebowski, a millionaire who gets mixed up in the crime mystery of The Dude (Jeff Bridges), Walter (John Goodman), Donnie (Steve Buscemi) and The Jesus (John Turturro). Unlike Donnie, Hoffman was never out of his element, even in the quirkiest of Coen Brothers comedies.

"The Big Lebowski" is a better movie overall than several on this list, but Hoffman's role was so small that it belongs toward the bottom. Even so, his laugh is infectious as the right-hand man of Mr. Lebowski, a millionaire who gets mixed up in the crime mystery of The Dude (Jeff Bridges), Walter (John Goodman), Donnie (Steve Buscemi) and The Jesus (John Turturro). Unlike Donnie, Hoffman was never "out of his element," even in the quirkiest of Coen Brothers comedies.
Moneyball instantly became one of the Top 10 baseball movies ever, with a fascinating front office look at a new statistics-driven approach to assembling a ball club. While Brad Pitt shined as trailblazing Oakland As general manager Billy Beane, it was Hoffman who personified the pushback, playing the old-fashioned skipper who doesnt want to upset the old rule of scouting law.

"Moneyball" instantly became one of the Top 10 baseball movies ever, with a fascinating front office look at a new statistics-driven approach to assembling a ball club. While Brad Pitt shined as trailblazing Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, it was Hoffman who personified the pushback, playing the old-fashioned skipper who doesn't want to upset the old rule of scouting law.
Exploring the porn industry of the late 70s and early 80s, Boogie Nights was a unique stage for established stars such as Burt Reynolds and William H. Macy, but also a proving ground for new stars such as Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham and Mark Wahlberg. But perhaps the brightest of them all was Hoffman, who was heartbreaking as the closet homosexual who makes a move on Wahlbergs Dirk Diggler, then climbs into his car with tears streaming down his face, repeatedly calling himself an fn idiot. The film began a long collaboration with writerdirector Paul Thomas Anderson, including Magnolia (1999), Punch Drunk Love (2002) and The Master (2012).

Exploring the porn industry of the late '70s and early '80s, "Boogie Nights" was a unique stage for established stars such as Burt Reynolds and William H. Macy, but also a proving ground for new stars such as Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham and Mark Wahlberg. But perhaps the brightest of them all was Hoffman, who was heartbreaking as the closet homosexual who makes a move on Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler, then climbs into his car with tears streaming down his face, repeatedly calling himself an "f'n idiot." The film began a long collaboration with writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, including "Magnolia" (1999), "Punch Drunk Love" (2002) and "The Master" (2012).
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Almost Famous was a hilarious semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age tale by writerdirector Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Say Anything). It follows a budding teenage music journalist who lands a dream assignment with Rolling Stone magazine and tours with the fictional 1970s rock band Stillwater. Hoffman plays his mentor, Lester Bangs, who assigns him to cover a Black Sabbath concert but thinks rock music isnt what it used to be. From their first diner conversation to their final late-night phone call, their relationship is filled with memorable advice Never befriend the rock stars and always write with honesty and without mercy. Rarely has such a small role made such a big impression.

"Almost Famous" was a hilarious semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age tale by writer/director Cameron Crowe ("Jerry Maguire," "Say Anything"). It follows a budding teenage music journalist who lands a dream assignment with Rolling Stone magazine and tours with the fictional 1970s rock band Stillwater. Hoffman plays his mentor, Lester Bangs, who assigns him to cover a Black Sabbath concert but thinks rock music isn't what it used to be. From their first diner conversation to their final late-night phone call, their relationship is filled with memorable advice: Never befriend the rock stars and always write with honesty and without mercy. Rarely has such a small role made such a big impression.
Magnolia is an ensemble mosaic of numerous characters working out their issues in San Fernando Valley, California. Between the game shows and raining frogs, Hoffman caught our attention as a male nurse caring for a prescription pill addict (Julianne Moore). The line between cinema and reality beautifully blurs as Hoffman makes a desperate phone call I know this sounds silly ... like this is the scene of the movie where the guy is trying to get a hold of the long-lost son. But this is that scene. This is that scene. And I think they have those scenes in movies because theyre true. Yknow, because they really happen. ... This is the scene of the movie where you help me out.

"Magnolia" is an ensemble mosaic of numerous characters working out their issues in San Fernando Valley, California. Between the game shows and raining frogs, Hoffman caught our attention as a male nurse caring for a prescription pill addict (Julianne Moore). The line between cinema and reality beautifully blurs as Hoffman makes a desperate phone call: "I know this sounds silly ... like this is the scene of the movie where the guy is trying to get a hold of the long-lost son. But this is that scene. This is that scene. And I think they have those scenes in movies because they're true. Y'know, because they really happen. ... This is the scene of the movie where you help me out."
In one of his most complex roles, Hoffman plays Father Flynn, a priest at a Catholic school in the Bronx circa 1964. Two nuns (Meryl Streep and Amy Adams) begin to question his relationship with a troubled young boy and suspect him of sexual abuse. The role earned Hoffman his third Oscar nomination with a commentary on faith and doubt amid a child sex-abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church for decades. Will the film maintain its power until all Vatican secrets emerge from the shadows No doubt.

In one of his most complex roles, Hoffman plays Father Flynn, a priest at a Catholic school in the Bronx circa 1964. Two nuns (Meryl Streep and Amy Adams) begin to question his relationship with a troubled young boy and suspect him of sexual abuse. The role earned Hoffman his third Oscar nomination with a commentary on faith and doubt amid a child sex-abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church for decades. Will the film maintain its power until all Vatican secrets emerge from the shadows? No doubt.
It takes a special actor to appear in a movie with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts - and steal the show. Hoffman earned an Oscar nomination as the energetic, mustachioed Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilsons War, directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate). It tells the true story of a Texas congressmans covert funding of Afghan rebels in their war against the Soviet Union. Little did they know, those same rebels included a young Osama Bin Laden. Through it all, Hoffmans energy is turned up to 11.

It takes a special actor to appear in a movie with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts - and steal the show. Hoffman earned an Oscar nomination as the energetic, mustachioed Gust Avrakotos in "Charlie Wilson's War," directed by Mike Nichols ("The Graduate"). It tells the true story of a Texas congressman's covert funding of Afghan rebels in their war against the Soviet Union. Little did they know, those same rebels included a young Osama Bin Laden. Through it all, Hoffman's energy is turned up to 11.
After playing a controversial priest in Doubt (2008), Hoffman took on another religious role, this time as the leader of a cult in The Master, a loose critique on Scientology. Director Paul Thomas Anderson allows Hoffmans red robe to crowd the frame as he brainwashes Joaquin Phoenix in his best role. Perhaps more disturbing is a masturbatory scene where Amy Adams literally pulls the strings. If Phoenix and Adams ever go on to win their own Oscars, they will think back and remember the improved skill sets lent to them by the master Hoffman.

After playing a controversial priest in "Doubt" (2008), Hoffman took on another religious role, this time as the leader of a cult in "The Master," a loose critique on Scientology. Director Paul Thomas Anderson allows Hoffman's red robe to crowd the frame as he brainwashes Joaquin Phoenix in his best role. Perhaps more disturbing is a masturbatory scene where Amy Adams literally "pulls the strings." If Phoenix and Adams ever go on to win their own Oscars, they will think back and remember the improved skill sets lent to them by "the master" Hoffman.
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Few actors possess the skill to become a real-life figure, but thats exactly what Hoffman did in his Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote. After the success of Breakfast at Tiffanys, Capote reads of the brutal murder of a Kansas family and sets out to interview the convicted killers for his revolutionary new novel In Cold Blood. Hoffman masters the look and manner of Truman, while showing his ongoing friendship with Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), whos busy penning her own novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Its as fine a piece of acting as youll ever see on the screen.

Few actors possess the skill to become a real-life figure, but that's exactly what Hoffman did in his Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote. After the success of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Capote reads of the brutal murder of a Kansas family and sets out to interview the convicted killers for his revolutionary new novel "In Cold Blood." Hoffman masters the look and manner of Truman, while showing his ongoing friendship with Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), who's busy penning her own novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird." It's as fine a piece of acting as you'll ever see on the screen.
Just three movies have ever graced film history with such genius insight into the tortured artist Federico Fellinis 8 12 (1963), Bob Fosses All That Jazz (1979) and Charlie Kaufmans Synecdoche New York (2008). Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a perfectionist playwright struggling for decades to create his masterpiece. Upon its release, Synecdoche was named the Movie of the Decade by the late Roger Ebert, who said, It will become a masterpiece without going through the earlier stage of being a success. Today, after the passing of both Ebert and Hoffman less than a year apart, the film feels eerily prophetic as Hoffman admits, Im afraid Im gonna die. And I want to do something important while Im still here. The final scene is chilling, as a voice counts down the final minutes of his life Now you are here, its 743. Now you are here, its 744. Now you are...gone.

Just three movies have ever graced film history with such genius insight into the tortured artist: Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" (1963), Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz" (1979) and Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche New York" (2008). Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a perfectionist playwright struggling for decades to create his masterpiece. Upon its release, "Synecdoche" was named the Movie of the Decade by the late Roger Ebert, who said, "It will become a masterpiece without going through the earlier stage of being a success." Today, after the passing of both Ebert and Hoffman less than a year apart, the film feels eerily prophetic as Hoffman admits, "I'm afraid I'm gonna die. And I want to do something important while I'm still here." The final scene is chilling, as a voice counts down the final minutes of his life: "Now you are here, it's 7:43. Now you are here, it's 7:44. Now you are...gone."
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