Hoffman was the greatest actor in English-language movies about a decade ago. He would have made the ideal Ignatius J. Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces.
Back in 2005 I called him “the American Alec Guinness,” but that was imperceptive. He was almost always conspicuous in character roles. I can remember watching Scent of a Woman in 1992 and wondering who is playing the other high school kid. Hoffman tended to cause elbow-nudging among audiences: Hey, look, it`s what his name. This is going to be good! (Guinness was conspicuous too, of course, as is his heir Gary Oldman — nobody goes into acting to be inconspicuous — but Guinness wasn`t conspicuously conspicuous.)
Lately, you could see a few problems. Before starting an article, I make up a page of random notes where I just jot down observations without attempting to fit them together. From my notes for my review of the recent Hunger Games sequel:
Philip Seymour Hoffman looked like he was needing the Big H to get through his dialogue.
Fat actor life expectancy:
- P.S. Hoffman 46
- James Gandolfini 51
- Chris Farley 33
- John Candy 43
- John Belushi 33
Now my wife is worried about John Goodman. Oliver Platt, too. But, there`s also:
- Jackie Gleason 71
- W.C. Fields 66
- Sydney Greenstreet 74