In every movie where Philip Seymour Hoffman held a major role, his performance raised the bar for the entire cast. He made them shine. He did it for many of the most famous actors of our time.
I saw it happen as usual recently in a favorite movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, where Hoffman elevated Tom Hanks from his usual excellence to His Holy Starness. The exchanges between their two characters — Hanks’ Congressman Charlie Wilson and Hoffman’s CIA task force chief Gust Avrakotos — put the movie over the top for me. The incredible true story had me riveted, but Hanks and Hoffman made it more than memorable as enduring art, and would have done so even if they didn’t have two other perennial favorites filling the number three and four slots in the billing, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams.