Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Top Ten

So, my initial concept for my ‘Tuesday Top Ten’ was actually going to be a ‘Birthday Top Ten’ and I was going to select one actor per week to do a top ten for on their birthday.  Then I just decided that having random film related Top Ten’s on Tuesday sounded like more fun.  Revolving them around birthdays was so constricting.  Still, the spirit of the origins of this post live on, and so while I had another Top Ten planned for today I pushed that off to next week in the light of a certain actor turning 46 today.

Some call him ham, some call him overrated, some call him obnoxious and calculated and others (you know, smart people) recognize him as one of the finest working actors today.  I’d place him easily in the top ten of his generation, and while Oscar always seems to embrace actors at the wrong time (Johnny Depp anyone) one cannot begrudge their finally coming around to showering Philip Seymour Hoffman with accolades. 

He damn well deserves it.

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about his best performances.  I’ll admit, as much as I love this guy there is one performance that I have yet to see (Happiness) and I know that many of his devoted fans consider it one of his finest roles, so for that omission I am sorry, but there is such a bounty of awesome in this man’s filmography that omitting the one in favor of another should be forgivable.  I mean, this list is awesome (and no, ‘Flawless’ does not pop up here because it was awful).  Hoffman has one Fisti Award Nomination that has been posted (25th Hour) and one that is about to be posted (The Master) but as I get into the late 90’s you’ll see that he racks up two more nominations in the same year.  Sadly, he has yet to win a Fisti, but he’ll nab one eventually.  I have the utmost faith in him.

Here we go!

Owen Davian in Mission Impossible III

John Savage in The Savages

Dean Trumbell in Punch-Drunk Love

Caden Cotard in Synecdoche, New York

Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley 

Truman Capote in Capote

Jacob Elinsky in 25th Hour

Andy in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead 

Phil Parma in Magnolia

Lancaster Dodd in The Master


  1. I would included his performance in Doubt, but nice list otherwise. Great actor.

    1. Honestly, I forgot all about Doubt. I probably would have placed him in for that over MI:III despite loving his turn in that hammed up sequel. He's a great villain. Still, his layered performance in Doubt is often misjudged by so many. I personally thought he was best in show.

  2. Great list. 2-4 are my favorites, but he's great as Lancaster Dodd. I still can't decide if he's lead or not (know you have him as lead), but he's just outside either category for me. I'd nominate him for Magnolia, 25th Hour and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, but I haven't given him a win either. He SO deserves one, though.

    By the way, I agree he's best in show in Doubt. He just misses my top 5 that year as well. Also, this list reminds me that I need to rewatch The Talented Mr. Ripley. It's been too long!

    1. Talented Mr. Ripley is one of my favorite films of the 90's. Reading the novel last year only made me love the film even more. Such a richly fleshed out and elaborated effort, and possibly Minghella's best film.

      Yeah, I find Hoffman Lead in both Master and Doubt, but I don't begrudge people that consider him Supporting.