PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN could earn a warm welcome into nearly any discussion about acting. You might kick off conversation about the awards appeal of Daniel Day-Lewis or the maniacal devotion of Joaquin Phoenix, but in mentioning these or any other of today’s foremost acting talents, you’d be compelled to divert attention to the player we lovingly called PSH.
But the topcoat lining Hoffman’s stardom was always a little bit softer that those of his peers. Despite the due praise Hoffman has garnered from the public and the cinematic community alike, he would never be called a movie star. Not an Oscar shoe-in. Why? Because Hoffman was a craft actor — so invested that the very notion of performance was the furthest thing from the minds of anyone watching him found a role. Hoffman wouldn’t just create characters, but entire worlds around him. Upon stages built by creative giants like Charlie Kaufman, the Coen Brothers, and his frequent collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson, Hoffman apprehended every vacant molecule of the stories he was helping to tell, injecting his color and meat therein.
One thing that distinguishes Hoffman from the powerhouses of his stature is the absence of a standout role. To some, Hoffman solidified his genius as Lancaster Dodd, Anderson’s titular Master. Others remain tortured by Hoffman’s turn in the 1995 drama Happiness, wherein he topped the lot of haunting performances by challenging the lengths to which an actor might exemplify human corrosion. But the darker side of storytelling did not keep a stronghold on Hoffman — finding his big screen footing in the action favorite Twister, Hoffman experimented with joy just as often, and to results just as fruitful. Few can forget the stiff shoulders of Jeffrey Lebowski’s pasty, perturbed lackey Brandt, a would-be throwaway character who Hoffman turned into one of the Coen comedy’s funniest elements.
And while nobody is rallying for Along Came Polly’s placement in the cinematic hall of fame, just try and claim you didn’t crack a smile at Hoffman’s introductory pratfall, or his climactic boardroom speech. Hoffman could make any material watchable. But quickly enough, studios and directors learned that he was a force that could turn great material into unprecedented screen work.
As such, there are so many viable answers to the “What’s your favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performance?” question. Friends and colleagues to whom I have posed the quandary this afternoon have cited everything from Capote to The Savages to Twister to Magnolia to his aforementioned comic bout in The Big Lebowski. For me, it will always be Synecdoche, New York — a movie that dared to tackle the boundless regimens of art, life, time, and sadness in such a vast way, and that through the unique power and humility of Hoffman did so with such articulation.
There are actors who offer tremendous spectacle, who can thrill the masses with a one sheet alone, who live up to the demands of the Academy year after year. Hoffman might not have topped any of these lists, but he pervaded every single one of these conversations — and this versatility is something few actors, even the best of the best, have managed. He has excelled at the dramatic, the chilling, the goofy, and the humane. Every corner of the cinematic world provided him an easel for genius. And now, looking back at his career of adventure flicks, comedies, psychological dramas, and probing stories of the human condition, we realize that there was no type of performance at which Philip Seymour Hoffman was not, in truth, a master.
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This week’s of Once Upon a Time was definitely a giant adventure. From beanstalks to pirate ships, from airports to hospitals, our favorite fairy tale characters were all over the place. Catch up on all the mesmerizing details from “Tiny” in one enchanting recap!
Fairytale Land Flashbacks: At the tippy-top of a beanstalk, we met a band of brothers who also just happened to be giants. Lost’s Jorge Garcia was back, reprising his role as Anton, or “Tiny,” as his brothers liked to call him when teasing. Anton was the smallest giant of the bunch and his fascination with the human world and all of their treasures was greatly shunned by all of his brothers.
One brother asked Tiny, “Have you forgotten what the humans did? Why we no longer trade beans with them? They weren’t content merely traveling between the realms. They had to conquer and pillage.” But Anton firmly believed that just because a few humans were bad didn’t mean the entire race was evil. To prove his brothers wrong, Tiny traveled down the beanstalk and ended up in the Enchanted Forest B.C.S. (Before Charming and Snow).
RELATED: 'Once Upon A Time' Recap: Betrayals And Beanstalks
Over in a royal bedroom, we saw Charming making out with a random brunette who was definitely not Snow White. It only took 2.5 seconds to realize that this look-a-like was James, Charming’s twin brother who was raised to be ruthless and deceitful instead of compassionate and kind. The King interrupted his son's bedroom sesh (awk) with news that a giant was in town and told him that they must find him.
James and his lady found Anton wistfully looking into the window of a pub, but obviously his size prohibited him from being able to enter. James approached Anton with a deceitfully sweet smile and offers him to show him around the kingdom. The girl offered him a bit of a magical mushroom that would temporarily shrink his size. (It was a very Alice in Wonderland moment.) Tiny was extremely grateful to his new friends, and he asked the maiden for her name. She replied with a sly smile, “Jacquelyn, but everyone calls me Jack.” In the pub Jack explained that their kingdom was in great danger and they owed a lot of money to a nearby village. If they did’t pay, their land would be pillaged and burned to the ground. Eager to help out his new friends, Anton traveled back up the beanstalk to gather up treasure and donate it to the kingdom.
However, James and Jack followed Anton up the beanstalk, accompanied by a large army with poisoned swords to attack the giants and steal all of their magic beans. Anton destroyed the crops, but when he returned from his task he saw that all of his brothers were now dead. Just before the last surviving brother took his final breath, he handed Anton a magic bean steam and said that when he finds new land, he should grow more. James abandoned a fatally wounded Jack, and escaped from the beanstalk with a large bag of treasure on his back and a smile on his face.
RELATED: 'Once Upon A Time': An Enchanting Catch-up Before The Next Spell
First Time Flyer: Rumple returned to collect Emma for their trip and was surprised to see that Henry had packed a suitcase too. Emma explained that with Cora running around, she was not going to leave her son in Storybrooke. If she went, he went. Tension hovered in the air as the three approached the town line on their way to the airport. Rumple's magic shawl was wrapped tightly around his neck as car passed over the line. He did indeed still have his memory, saying, “My name is Rumplestilskin and we’re going to find my son.”
Over in the airport, Henry was bouncing off the walls, asking a million questions, and was excited to get a Cinnabon from the food court. (Note to Emma: Do not give that kid any more sugar. Sheesh!) As the gang prepared to go through airport security, the guard told Rumple to place his cane and shawl in the bin and step forward. Rumple looked truly terrified, exclaiming, “If I let this go, I could forget who I am.” But Emma promised she would’t let that happen.
Rumples took off his scarf and was immediately in a daze, stumbling through the metal detector with shallow breath and unfocused eyes. Emma quickly placed the shawl back on his shoulders, and a shaken but memory-intact Rumple followed her to the gate. He nervously paced back and forth before excusing himself to go to the bathroom. Once locked in the stall, Rumple began punching the sanitary seat dispenser as hard and as fast as he could.
His knuckles were bloody and bruised, but when Rumple tried to use magic to heal them, he found that it wouldn't work. Rumple ended up on the plane with a bandaged hand looking terrified as the flight attendant announced that they would be landing in New York City in less than an hour.
RELATED: 'Once Upon A Time' Recap: Make Believe, Monsters, And Mothers
A Stranger in Storybooke: Snow and Charming began their quest to find Cora, and the first person they looked to question was, of course, Hook. Reluctantly the pirate led them aboard his ship and even though Cora was not there, they did find something very important that she brought on her trip: a pint-sized giant. Cora used her magic to shrink Anton, locked him away in a cage, and brought him on their journey to Storybrooke.
Snow freed Anton and said that they were not here to harm him, but the very second the not-so-giant giant saw Charming, he instantly attacked him, mistaking him for his brother. When he realized that he was outnumbered, Anton fleed the boat and wandered off into the forest. Regina learned of Anton’s disdain for the prince and took his opportunity to present Anton with yet another mushroom, but this one would temporarily makes him huge.
As Anton ravaged through town, Charming and Snow attempted to reason with the giant, explaining that it was actually James who betrayed him. But Anton did not care, claiming that all humans were evil and jumped through the air in hopes of crushing our beloved prince. However, all Anton crushed was a huge hole in the ground before the mushroom wore off.
RELATED: 'Once Upon A Time' Recap: Potions, Princes, And Payback
Charming and the rest of the town worked to save Anton from the hole and proved that the people of Storybrooke were kind and trustworthy. Anton rewarded them by saying that he would plant his beans in this new land so that they may have the option to travel back home.
Meanwhile, Belle was in the mental hospital — in a yellow gown of course — and it was clear she still had no idea who she was. Ruby sat down beside her friend to bring her “some comforts from home,” which was basically a basket filled with books. Belle demanded that her friend tell her the truth and asked Ruby why there was a man with a ball of fire in his hands on the night of her accident.
Belle got hysterical, claiming she knew what she saw, and the nurse came over to give her a shot of sedatives and take her to her room. Later that night, Craig — the man who drove through town and caused the accident — entered her room. He said he overheard her talking and he also saw a man wielding a ball of fire that night.
What did you think of the adventures in tonight’s Once Upon a Time? Cast your spell in the comments below!
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[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC]
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The 36 year old was crowned Best Supporting Actress for her role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and Best Actress in a Drama Series for her turn in hit U.S. TV series Scandal, which also won Best Drama Series. In addition, she received the President's Award for her public service work on behalf of President Barack Obama.
She was also praised for breaking the colour barrier and becoming the first African-American woman to lead the cast of a primetime drama since Diahann Carroll in Julia over three decades ago.
Carroll praised the Scandal star, saying, “I think she’s enjoying one of the great moments of her life right now in our industry."
Joking as she stepped on stage to collect her final prize, she said, "Wow, OK, this is the last time that I even have a shot to be up here, just in case you're getting sick of me."
Meanwhile, George Lucas' film about the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails, was named Best Motion Picture, and Flight's Denzel Washington and Won't Back Down's Viola Davis beat out the competition for Best Actor and Best Actress. Samuel L. Jackson nabbed the trophy for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Leonardo DiCaprio's sidekick in Django Unchained, and Beasts of the Southern Wild picked up the Best Independent Motion Picture trophy.
TV award winners included Don Cheadle (Actor in a Comedy Series for House of Lies), L.L. Cool J (Actor in a Drama Series for NCIS: Los Angeles), Omar Epps (Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for House M.D.), Vanessa Williams (Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Desperate Housewives), and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for Hallmark Hall of Fame's Firelight).
In the music categories, Usher and Alicia Keys were named the Best Male and Female Artist, and tragic Whitney Houston was honoured for Best Album (I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston) and Best Song (I Look To You).
The list of major winners is:
Motion Picture - Red Tails
Actor in a Motion Picture - Denzel Washington (Flight)
Actress in a Motion Picture - Viola Davis (Won't Back Down)
Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained)
Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture - Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Independent Motion Picture - Beasts of the Southern Wild
International Motion Picture - The Intouchables
Documentary - On the Shoulders of Giants - The Story of the Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of
TV Comedy Series - The Game
Actor in a Comedy Series - Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
Actress in a Comedy Series - Cassi Davis (Tyler Perry's House of Payne)
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Lance Gross (Tyler Perry's House of Payne)
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives)
Drama Series - Scandal
Actor in a Drama Series - LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles)
Actress in a Drama Series - Kerry Washington (Scandal)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Omar Epps (House M.D.)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy)
Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Steel Magnolias
Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Hallmark Hall of Fame's Firelight)
Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special - Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias)
Actor in a Daytime Drama Series - Kristoff St. John (The Young and the Restless)
Actress in a Daytime Drama Series - Tatyana Ali (The Young and the Restless)
News/ Information - (Series or Special) - Unsung
Talk Series - The View
Reality Series - Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Variety Series or Special - Black Girls Rock
Children’s Program - Kasha and the Zulu King
Performance in a Youth/ Children’s Program - Loretta Devine (Doc McStuffins)
New Artist - Elle Varner
Male Artist - Usher
Female Artist - Alicia Keys
Duo, Group or Collaboration - Mary Mary
Jazz Album - The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Gospel Album - Go Get It by Mary Mary
Music Video - Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
Song - I Look To You by Whitney Houston and R. Kelly
Album - I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston by Whitney Houston
Spingarn Medal - Harry Belafonte