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Friday
Jun032011

Philip Seymour Hoffman Continues To Get Great Tail

As long as I live I'll be haunting by the opening shots of Before The Devil Knows You're Dead in which 'sex angel' Marisa Tomei is on all fours getting nailed by ... Philip Seymour Hoffman? This is the part in the accompanying score where the lovely romantic music deflates to a comic halt, throwing ice water on the "mood"

What?

This image came flashing back to me with the announcement that delicious honey AMY ADAMS will play his wife in The Master, a film that's supposedly about Scientology (however veiled) from the genius Paul Thomas Anderson.

The cast for that movie is looking topnotch: Laura Dern, Lena Endre, Adams, Joaquin Phoenix (and *just announced* Breaking Dawn's Rami Malek as the son-in-law of Adams and Hoffman. No word yet on who is playing his teenage wife.) 

But even geniuses like P.T. Anderson make inexplicable decisions somehow, since Hoffman will be playing a "charismatic leader", the kind of man people flock to, sex up, idolize or obey for reasons that will maybe defy human logic. [See also: Synecdoche New York.] Hoffman can conjure "charisma" onscreen as well as any confident actor -- if not the sexual kind -- but the ladies he snags on celluloid... Yeesh.

A sampling of beauties that PSH has sexed up onscreen (sometimes literally but usually just implied):

  • Annie Morgan
  • Anna Paquin
  • Michelle Williams
  • Marisa Tomei
  • Catherine Keener
  • Samantha Morton
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Minnie Driver

I'm sure I forgot someone. Their numbers grow every film!

Synecdoche New York was the worst offender as PSH's miserably depressed "Caden", with his boils and bloody stool, the kind of man who would have a hard time finding even one woman in real life, was able to bed Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Emily Watson, and Michelle Williams all in the space of one film!

Women are just hot for him, okay?! Deal with it.

It wasn't always this way with PSH. In the beginning of his career, none of the hotties that he wanted to sleep with onscreen wanted him back: in Boogie Nights he pursued Mark Wahlberg to no avail and in Happiness he really wanted Lara Flynn Boyle but ended up in bed with Camryn Mannheim instead.

But then...  Was it State and Main where he managed to bed Sarah Jessica Parker as a bitchy starlet that changed it? Was it those gargantuan displays of actor/character ego in The Talented Mr Ripley or Cold Mountain? Somewhere along the line great filmmakers decided he was a ladykiller!

I realize that complaining about the looks of a revered actor wins me no friends, but please trust that I wouldn't say a word if they would only cast his wives and girlfriends differently. I can only suspend disbelief so far. By this coupling logic I should have slept with Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal and Uma Thurman by now, you know? JUST SAYIN'.


P.S.
End of rant. I'm still excited for The Master, no matter what. P.T. Anderson is a wondrous gift to the movies.

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Reader Comments (18)

Robin Wright Penn, Clifton Collins Jr. and Amy Ryan. Yeah. That's...that's all of them. I understand why you don't like Synecdoche. It's massively unrealistic sexually. On first watch, it was my best film of the year. Than I said..."Wait. Why exactly do they want this self hating piece of trash?" I still probably like it a lot more than you (A-), but I wouldn't confuse it as "the best film of the decade" like Ebert did. (Top ten, in order: 1. Far From Heaven. 2. Amelie. 3. Before Sunset. 4. Oldboy. 5. LOTR trilogy. 6. Donnie Darko. 7. Almost Famous. 8. Eternal Sunshine. 9. The Dark Knight. 10. Pan's Labyrinth.) The first 6 are A+'s, the rest are A's.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

And as for The Master: I'm not seeing a PT Anderson movie. I've said multiple times why. In short: I'm asexual. I hate EVERYTHING Plainview stands for culturally.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

And what you said about Boogie Nights: It's a bit bad, but, to me, that movie was at the same time a rousing, searing cinematic experience...and a Birth of A Nation-sized sword twisting itself further into my guts with each lurid moment, conforming him, more and more, into such a negative stereotype that Sheldon Cooper and Johnny "Nny" C. feel like cooling balm in comparison.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

You don't write enough about Hollywood sexism to justify being shocked by the PSH and The Women he gets to bang on camera.

*29 being the golden age for Best Actress
*Meryl Streep being the only one allowed to have a major motion picture career at any stage of her life since she started making movies -- all of her industry girlfriends are coming to TV or already on TV
*The lack of female directors doesn't bother me -- but the lack of quality parts for women does
*Also there's a lot of sexism online -- when word got out that Sally Field would be playing DDL's wife in the new Spielberg picture -- these MEN lost their heads -- talking about her being old -- too old for him -- a hammy actress -- ignoring the fact that between the two of them they have two Oscars a piece!
*Notice that PSH shows that character Actors are allowed to become leads in Auteur projects but when they need women (and I love her by the way) they go for the gorgeous Nicole Kidman types -- sometimes it's called for but not always
*You should watch Searching for Debra Winger again -- they talk about Revenge of the Nerds syndrome -- where the male studio runners select the most fuckable young starlet to be cast along side some ugly man or an old man

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

I have the same feelings about PSH. I can't suspend my disbelief that any of those ladies would find him attractive. In 'Synecdoche, NY' I remember thinking how we were apparently supposed to feel bad for Caden w/his wife leaving him, all I could think was that I would leave his irritating ass too.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Gosh, he is just SO unattractive. Hahah.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Nathaniel, I think you are under the impression that ALL women are beauties. Let's give the word a specific definition ;)

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

James T -- I am generous perhaps;)

the point is NO actress that looked like PSH would ever -- not in a million years -- be cast opposite actors as hot as the actresses that he is regularly cast opposite. Never ever ever ever ever ever so i find it amusing. and completely annoying since I think he's one of the world's most overrated actors of either gender.

June 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I get the point you make, but I don't find it as unbelievable as you make it out to be. As trite as it sounds, people don't always marry for looks and even though PSH happens to have a lot of pretty wives on screen most movies don't have plain-looking actors like him having the pretty girl, so it's not as if it's gone viral.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

PSH may not be the most sexy actor , at least n the conventional sense, but on the other hand, intelligence and talent can work wonder with women too.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermugwort

I feel the same way about John C. Reilly

I actually don't have a problem with it, because in each individual movie, its beilevable (cept maybe SNY, ut that whole movie was totally surreal), its only when you start comparing them to each other that it seems totally BS.

But I like him as an actor, and I think there are times when he has something sexy about him!

Often in the real world, people just don't care about looks that much. When you are going to spend your life with someone, you're probably gonna look for someone with a compatible personaility before someone who looks good.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBroooooke

Of course you're absolutely right Nathaniel, but, hey, at least he was sexually repugnant in HAPPINESS (He ended up with the penis disfiguring Camryn Manheim in the end and she wouldn't even sleep with him)? And ALONG CAME POLLY definitely acknowledges his unnattractive-ness. Butyeah you're right. It would be sweet to have a female PSH version pop up who was insanely talented who was bedding John Krasinski and Eric Bana. Wishful thinking right?

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

Speaking of The Master....Jesse Plemons (Landry from Friday Night Lights) is cast as the son of PSH!

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Yeah, movies about hot young men getting it on with far less attractive women are far more scarce than the vice versa. For some reason my mind is only leaping towards "The Mother". I'm sure there are more though, but it's definitely a much smaller group of films.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

@NathanielR

What about the fat chick in Hairspray with Zac Efron. I haven't seen the movie but I thought they were partnered. Big Fat Greek Wedding lady has been paired up with some good looking guys hasn't she? Sex and the City girls getting young male models, etc.

It happens.

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael.

I woke up with this post on my brain this morning, Nat! So good job infecting my brain. But since I agree with Ebert on Synechdoche being the best film of the decade let me just try and defend it's choices in the area a little bit - I can't speak to all your other examples; PSH and Marisa Tomei was so very wrong - since nothing in Synechdoche is meant to be taken literally, since every character's a stand-in (literally, often) for someone or something else inside of its fantasia, I think the fact that all the women being projected as love objects for Caden would have to be attractive, since that's part of what they would naturally represent: attraction. Meanwhile the film goes way way out of its way to make PSH as gross and unappealing as possible time and time again, so I think that's a choice Kaufman made here as well. This disparity which you're complaining about is part of what the film's about - the author (and I'm not entirely sure the PSH character is ultimately the author of the story we're watching, like he says he is; I've heard good arguments that this is actually Dianne Weist's story) expressing their inexhaustible self-doubt; a lifetime of it, looked back upon and shaped through eyes of considerable years of disappointment. (God it all sounds so depressing, but I find this film more exhilarating that a billion happy CG explosions.)

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJA

JA -- i'm the first person that would agree that a billion happy CG explosions can never match the exhilaration of a great film about actual people with actual ideas... but YUCK in this case. I'll admit i'm rrational about this movie but I found it so willfully repulsive that i had trouble latching on to its stellar elements (and I recognize there were some: production design, half the performances, the author ambiguities you're talking about.)

People complain sometimes about provocateurs like Lars Von Trier delibarating baiting audiences but in this particular case I felt like Kaufman was self-sabotaging... like "here's another image: you hate this movie, right? Right? okay how about now? YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND!" It felt like a self serving self sealed strange beast that was both self-loathing and self-aggrandazing.

i didn't like this movie.

and if it's Dianne Wiest's story why are all the women attracted to the repulsive man? (I can buy our argument about them being attractive if its his projections.)

June 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yeah, it's BS. You'd never see Melissa McCarthy with Ryan Gosling so whatever. But I attribute this to the illogical mindfuck Hollywood can turn into. TBH, though, I get more creeped out when I see the likes of John C. Reilly or Steve Buscemi (esp. on Boardwalk Empire, ugh) bang someone totally out of their league on screen. THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN, WHO MADE THAT CHOICE.

As for Synecdoche New York? Give me Being John Malkovich, Adaptation or Eternal Sunshine any day of the week. He needs to have other people direct his scripts, always.

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark
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