Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman/More Toronto Ultimatum Coverage/Nebraska Notes/Gravity Goodies/12 Years Tidbit


I don't know where to start.  I hate this.  Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead at 46.  News reports have said heroin overdose is the cause.

We found out early yesterday afternoon...and it made me physically ill.  Angry, sad.

He was so talented and had such range and at 46 had had enough of a career so that we knew how special he was.  That also means that we can know that we've lost another three or four decades of great work from him.

He was branching out...moving into directing and producing.  I was excited to see how those choices played out.  My thinking: a guy this talented might really be able to bring that same spark to every endeavor he undertook.

His body of work is breath taking...I think I really first noticed him in 1992's "Scent of a Woman" playing Chris O'Donnell's feckless classmate.  For the next few years, he'd continue to pop up in some things...then "Boogie Nights" in 1997 and it was game on:

"The Big Lebowski"
"Magnolia"...dear God, he's good in this...
"The Talented Mr. Ripley"
"State and Main"
"Almost Famous"...dear God, he's good in this...
"Red Dragon" excellent Freddy Lounds...not a nice guy
"Cold Mountain"
"Capote"...dear get it.  (Wins the Oscar after having it play in Telluride with PSH in attendance).
"The Savages"  ditto
"Charlie Wilson's War"  best thing in the flick
"Synechdoche, NY"
"The Master"

all this and more and he was 46...

Two things...

I've always thought his career was one you could point to and tell kids (after all I teach high school kids drama) "Here's a guy that proves that talent CAN get noticed, be rewarded and provide a career".

And on a completely selfish level, he was always one of the people on the list I carry in my head that I thought I might actually get to shake hands with on Colorado Ave. in Telluride or at the Patron Brunch. There are some people I'd like to say "thank you" to for the things that they've created that have been meaningful to me.  Because of the fest and the type of projects that PSH has done, I've always harbored the notion that I might be able to say that in person someday...

Not now...


I have added a couple of pother posts/articles concerning the announcement for the Toronto Film Festival about their new policy regarding "premieres" and the programming of new films beginning with this year's festival.  As noted last Thursday, the new policy is clearly aimed at Telluride in an attempt to curb the choice of film makers and distributors to play Telluride first and then Toronto after TIFF has billed a film as a World or North American premiere.

From The Toronto Star:

Business Week:

The Globe and Mail:

At this point, the only response that I've seen from the Telluride camp is a Variety story from last week by Dave McNary that quotes TFF Exec. Director Julie Huntsinger saying, essentially, that TFF will continue to do its thing.  I've re-posted the link to that story here:


Alexander Payne's "Nebraska is nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay and Cinematography.  It'll likely win none on Mar. 2.  It's best shot might be Bob Nelson's screenplay but "Her" or "American Hustle" are more likely.  There's maybe an outside shot for Bruce Dern to surprise as Best Actor...but that's very likely Matthew McConaughey's to lose and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) is a more likely spoiler.  Nevertheless, "Nebraska" continues to be among the best reviewed films of the year (currently sitting at #10 on Metacritic for 2013 ) and it was #3 for me on my TFF #40 list of films (led by 12 Years and Llewyn Davis).

The "Nebraska" crew is keeping the Oscar fires alight however with a number of posts appearing within the last couple of weeks.  I have included a few here: interviews Alexander Payne:

The Carpetbagger/New York Times talks to Oscar nominee June Squibb:

The Hollywood Reporter talks to Nebraska score composer Mark Orton:


A month from now you can count on hearing this and reading this in any number of places:  "Winner of the most Oscars for 2013, 'Gravity"..." ; because that will be a true statement.  We still don't know what the exact number of Oscars will be for the Alfonso Cuaron film, but it'll be somewhere between  five and nine. Currently I'm thinking seven.

Variety recently posted this video with "Gravity" Oscar nominees Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron:

And I have included a featurette fromHitFix highlighting both Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron talking about story and screenplay here:


And here is a lengthy discussion with Steve McQueen about his masterpiece "12 Years a Slave" and other topics from The Walker Art Center and posted by The Playlist here:

More on Thursday...

No comments: