Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Has Died

   Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. We have all lost more than can be put into words. He was quietly, elegantly, perfect at his craft. So much so, that we forgot it was an act, a character and not the man himself. I first saw his brilliance as Freddie Miles, in The Talented Mr. Ripley and he made the movie.  I can see him so clearly all these years later, understated, powerful, dressing down Matt Damon with a glance and a few careful words. There was something in his presence, he was more aware then the others. You would lean in to hear him speak. He had a way of delivering a line that let you know he knew things, secrets, the names of the demons that plague us all.

   As with any great gift comes equal parts sorrow. All genius must be fed on suffering, and Mr. Hoffman was not spared. You need never have had to see an interview he sat for, or talked to him in person, it was written in the set of his face. It was in his eyes when he played the role of the questionable Father Brendan Flynn, in Doubt. He had  easily access to a reservoir of pain to draw upon. And he drank it in huge gulps, so that we could all believe in whatever story he was telling us at the time.

  Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. He cannot be revived or replaced. He has left us, abandoned, alone. His talent came at a high price, too high. Do not allow anyone to drag his name or reputation low because of the circumstances of his passing. Mr. Hoffman knew the names of so many demons because he lived with them. We only caught a flash, a small glint of their shadows, however he faced them straight on and they set their teeth upon him, one needle prick at a time. Their jaws became unhinged to take in more of him and leaving him less. Emptied at last.

  For those who cannot find mercy, stop looking for fault. It is no treasure, and it buys nothing of value. No one has lost more, or suffered as much, as Mr. Hoffman himself.  Please see it for what it was, this was a theft. He lost all of his tomorrows, his hope, everything that he could have been and done. Gone.

  Philip Seymour Hoffman has died, and with him, so has his demons. It was a brutal and valiant battle, in the end it was a draw. They took his life and he took his leave.