Thursday, 7 February 2013

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson has always been a very self-conscious director and writer. And though I prefer his previous film There will be blood, I can't say I didn't like The Master. It's a very solid film with a great message. It doesn't have to - and probably even doesn't - fit everyone. But everyone must admit its undeniable qualities, for instance its performances.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the master of The Cause who persuaded Joaqin Phoenix's character to join them. It's a very backhanded character, which makes it more difficult to play. We never know, if it's positive, or negative. We doubt about him and we never know, if he's talking right, or not. The Master actually reminds me of Doubt. You may say I'm crazy, but there is a similarity: we never know, whether we should trust Hoffman's character and whether we should stand on his side. These kinds of characters suit Hoffman greatly and he can handle them with ease, though they are very hard to play.
Hoffman's first mention-worthy scene is the first dialogue between Phoenix and him. They're on Hoffman's boat and he's detecting what Phoenix is doing there and how did he get there. Hoffman is very subtle in this scene, but certainly not boring. His charm is palpable.
The contrast that makes this character so backhanded is in the way he behaves and the way he speaks. The rational part of ourselves says that the things he speaks are bullshits. But the instinctive part of ourselves feels he's a nice likable guy.
Hoffman wonderfully portrayed Lancaster Dodd as a loving and beloved husband and also very manipulative and authoritative man. Every aspect of this performance may be flawless. The three of his best scenes are in my opinion the best scenes of the film: in the prison, the scene he's singing in and the scene of the first interrogating. Especially in the last mentioned scene wonderfully mirrors the contrast of this character. Well done, Mr. Hoffman!
The chances of winning an Oscar: Unfortunately, they are not very big, in my opinion. In fact, he is the fourth after Jones, Waltz and De Niro. But what can I do with that?

1 comment: