top ten//PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN'S MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCES

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-winning actor who passed away this morning in his New York apartment, was a prolific actor with a rich resume of crowd-pleasers and critical acclaim. A true character actor, Hoffman was one of Hollywood's most respected actors of today. Even in his small roles, Hoffman was able to command the screen and steal each scene. Here's a look at his 10 most memorable performances, but even these do not completely grasp his other roles in films like Along Came Polly, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Pirate Radio, 25th Hour, Red Dragon, and Flawless.

10. Dustin Davis, TWISTER (1996)



The mid-nineties box office hit is mostly remembered for its state-of-the-art effects and oft-quoted lines, like "We've got cows." The film is also notable for being Hoffman's official welcome to the mainstream audience. He mastered the slacker dude role before the likes of Jack Black made it a hit on the screen. He also cemented his name in the funny sidekick schtick, which we'd see again.

9. Gust Avrakotos, CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (2007)



Going up against Tom Hanks in a film is a hard feat, but Hoffman did it to great charge, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His turn as the foul-mouthed CIA agent was a scene stealer and, possibly, outshone Mr. Hanks himself.

8. Max Jerry Horovitz, MARY AND MAX (2009)



As the voice of Max, Hoffman humanized a depressed, anti-social Yankee and turned him into a beloved character in this dark and somewhat twisted animated film. The story of a young girl from Australia who finds a lifelong pen-pal with a New York man, Hoffman and co-star Toni Collette's voicework is what really makes the film work. Innocent heart and brutal honesty show just how strangely beautiful and small this world really is.


7. Caden Cotard, SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (2008)



As the star of Charlie Kaufman's beautiful drama, Hoffman plays a theatre director struggling with life and the people he finds in it. Inspired to write an epic piece of theater, he builds a life-size replica of New York City. The quirky drama follows his character throughout his entire life and Hoffman shows how mature of an actor he is through his portrayal of the entire being of a living person.

6. Scotty J., BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)



Arguably Hoffman's breakout role, Boogie Nights was a big part of 90's cinema, introducing us to director Paul Thomas Anderson (with whom Hoffman would work on multiple projects) and actors like Hoffman and Julianne Moore. Hoffman plays a soundman with a huge crush on Mark Wahlberg's porn star Dirk Diggler. His timing and full melting into the role is what sells this and every one of his performances.

5. Phil Pharma, MAGNOLIA (1999)



Another Paul Thomas Anderson vehicle, Hoffman's turn in Magnolia is one of true emotion. He plays a nurse at the death bed of Jason Robards' Earl Partridge, a dying producer. Anderson's tale of a single 24 hour period in Los Angeles where coincidence reigns supreme, Magnolia is a beautiful ensemble piece. Powered by Hoffman's brilliant and subtle performance, along with turns b Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, and Tom Cruise, the film was one of the year's best.  

4. Jon Savage, THE SAVAGES (2007)



Hoffman perfected the everyman, which is clearly seen here against Laura Linney's neurotic sister in this sibling film that examines the relationship between people forced to coexist, taking care of their abusive father who is dying. Hoffman's Jon Savage is the steady line throughout the emotional and darkly funny film, showing the different shapes life takes during hard times such as family death.

3. Father Flynn, DOUBT (2008)



Based on the play of the same name, the entirety of this film rests on the idea that there is always doubt present in any space it's allowed. Hoffman's Father Flynn is a young, open-minded priest accused by Meryl Streep's Sister Aloysius of abusing a young, black alter boy. The film is fierce in its allegations and two-sided in its result, mostly due to the spot-on performances by Hoffman, Streep, and Amy Adams. Hoffman was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work.

2. Lancaster Dodd, THE MASTER



Possibly a modern masterpiece, Paul Thomas Anderson's look into the intense world of an eccentric leader of a cult-like religion, The Master was a showcase of Hoffman's and Joaquin Phoenix's acting chops. Hoffman's Dodd is the wise-talking preacher and leader who works his mojo to successfully convince Phoenix's Freddie Quell to give up everything for the sake of the faith. Amidst controversy, the friendship and relationship the two gain leads the storyline on an interesting, inquisitive journey. Hoffman received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

1. Truman Capote, CAPOTE



Hoffman's most famous role of his career, and his most feated, his portrait of American author Truman Capote is a piece of film history. He completely engrossed himself in every aspect of Capote's life, down to his mannerisms and voice. Hoffman was never one to just hone in a performance; he lived the characters. Starring alongside Catherine Keener, Hoffman took his character acting abilities to the next level and not only showed the story of Capote and his struggles through writing In Cold Blood, but also showed the picture of a life full of tragedy and happiness.

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