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"
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!
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.