Five Of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Greatest Films


In this Oscar-winning performance, Hoffman masters the role of Truman Capote and his relationship with killers Perry Smith and Richard Hickock as he battles to compose the original ‘non-fiction’ novel In Cold Blood. Hoffman lost half of his body weight to play the role and is magnificent in his imitation of Capote. From his eerie child-like accent to the study of the author’s body language, Hoffman’s Capote is flawless.

The Master

Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a religious movement known as ‘The Cause’. The self-deluded Dodd believes in curing illnesses by cleansing the souls of past lives from millions of years ago. Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix team up brilliantly in this haunting portrayal of life in a muddled post-World War II USA.

The Big Lebowski

In this Cohen Brothers cult classic, Hoffman plays Brandt, the uptight butler in The Big Lebowski. Although only playing a minor role in the film, his impact onscreen is irreplaceable and treasured by millions. The awkward laughter and excruciating gesticulation as Tara Banks offers to give ‘The Dude’ a blowjob is magnificently timed in this hysterical scene.


In Doubt, Hoffman plays Father Flynn, the popular priest who is accused of paedophllia by the principal (Meryl Streep) at a Bronx Catholic High School. Hoffman and Streep give outstanding performances in this adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play that examines changes in attitudes in the Catholic Church during the 60s.

Almost Famous

Thank goodness Hoffman agreed to play the legendary music journalist Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe’s floaty biopic about pubescent 1970s groupies and a tag-along aspiring writer. Without him, the film would have been style over substance, smock dresses over morality, LSD over heart. Who else could make a narcissistic music critic so very likeable?

Image courtesy of Rex/c. Weinstein/Everett

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