To say that I wish I would have woken up this morning to have yesterday been a bad dream is an understatement. In fact, I kept waiting to wake up yesterday, hoping that this was some oddly realistic and extremely long dream, but it wasn't and Philip Seymour Hoffman is still dead and the countless updates to his passing keep appearing on the computer screen. From bags of heroine to reports of odd behavior nights before to pictures of Cate Blanchett with tear streaked cheeks (seriously media, let these people grieve in peace), I can't get Hoffman out of my head.
As I'm sure you saw yesterday, I'm a mess over this and putting my thoughts down in a cohesive manner has been really hard for me. I basically rambled yesterday and gave up. Thankfully SO MANY beautiful posts have been dedicated to this man's legacy, and I just wanted to share some of my favorites.
Before I do, I want to say this. Philip Seymour Hoffman has been one of my favorite actors for a very long time. His range was marvelous, and his presence in any film was the one that made the largest impact. Yes, I knew that he had personal problems, but that never shaded my perception of his work. Much debate has been swarming all over the internet as to whether or not we should celebrate his legacy or shine a spotlight on his obvious drug addiction. Should we disregard what he did to himself in his honor, or should we really try so hard to separate the profession from the personal life? I personally find some of this talk degrading and inappropriate. While I don't begrudge the conversation so much (we had this same reaction when Ledger died and last year with Cory Monteith as well), I take issue with certain bloggers taking this as a way to condemn him, to cry foul on the media for forgiving him so easily and or criticizing him in this time and hour.
I have close family who suffers from addiction. My sister, my baby sister, has been addicted to heroine for the last four years. She is homeless, hasn't seen her two children in over a year and has OD'd three times. Thankfully, she has not died yet, but her addiction is still very real and very prominent. All this talk about 'how could Philip buy that much heroine knowing he has children at home', while an understandable argument, is obviously coming out of the mouths of people who don't understand addiction. I can't even say that I understand it all that fully, since I myself am not addicted, and I can't lie and say that I haven't had the same frustrated anger at my sister for her disregard of her own children to feed her addiction, but addiction is VERY real, and people in that state can't separate their cravings from their common sense.
They lose their common sense.
As was reported last year, Hoffman noticed his addiction and sought out help, but like many people with addictive personalities, Hoffman needed more help than he received.
While I don't discourage conversation about the sad state of drug addiction (and we can't scoot around the fact that his death brings awareness to the fragility of life and the cautionary tale of thinking you can control your addiction on your own), I do believe that those things should be kept in their place. Should we disregard his talent for the mere fact that he had a substance abuse problem? I don't think so. Should we revoke his Oscar because he may have been on heroine when he filmed 'Capote'? Why? These are separate avenues of life, and while the law is the law, art is art and the two should be seen through different colored lenses.
We don't need to condone his actions to celebrate his talent.
Anyways, I didn't plan on writing all this this morning, simply because I didn't really want to be part of that conversation, but it's been bugging me because for every 'we will miss you' post I see, I see another 'this man was a DRUG ADDICT' and it just makes me so angry.
People feel that they can say anything they want through the disguise of a keyboard, and the truth of the matter is that they can, but should they? That, for me, is the real question.
So, without further ado, here are some of the most moving 'dedications' I've read declaring their saddened hearts over the loss of a true legend:
Dana Stevens over at Slate writes a beautiful piece and actually mentions his drug abuse in the correct context, with the proper tone.
Ruth over at Flixchatter reminisces on what it was that made Hoffman's presence in film so great, and longs to see more (don't we all).
Sati over at Cinematic Corner covers Hoffman's career and touches upon the fact that, of all the working actors, he was the most consistent.
I hate the word was.
Alex Bean over at The Addison Recorder writes up a touching tribute to Hoffman and notes how this is one of those celebrity deaths that stings a little more than usual.
And lastly, Ryan McNeil over at The Matinee brought me to tears with his open letter to Philip (these are the kinds of open letters I like to see) and pretty much sums up everything I was feeling yesterday, but couldn't put into words.