It has been six months since the death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote"), and in theaters right now is his last completed film titled "A Most Wanted Man." The film is a complex thriller about the war on terror. And although the Oscar hunt is still far away, it is a question whether the Academy will nominate Hoffman for his last and final performance.
"A Most Wanted Man," was directed by Anton Corbijn. ("The American") and features a story based on a novel written by John le Carré. Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays Gunther Bachman, the leader of a spy network based in Hamburg, Germany. Their job is to cultivate sources within the Islamic community.
Hoffman spoke about his role for the making of the film's production notes, “This movie is about a lot of things including, obviously, how countries deal with terrorism. But it’s also about a man who keeps doing the same thing and getting the same result. You get the feeling he can’t stop. He really feels like he’s trying to do the right thing and I think, actually, he is. But the world isn't going along with his way of taking care of the bad guys of the planet.
"I was just so taken with his tunnel vision. He just thought ‘It’s going to work this time and they're going to see that I know, that I actually know’. That’s a hard way to live, to be someone who thinks, ‘if they could just see what I see, they'll get it’. But they never let him get there and he keeps going there. He suffers.”
From Hoffman's earliest roles he was a chameleon. Whether it was playing the music critic in "Almost Famous," or taking on the utterly transformative role as Truman Capote in "Capote," Hoffman seemed to wear these characters effortlessly. And it is easy to see why he was nominated for four Academy Awards. So, could "A Most Wanted Man," bring Hoffman a posthumous and fifth Oscar nomination? It depends of two things: The critical success of the film and the memory of Academy voters, as "A Most Wanted Man" has been released earlier than most films that vie for awards recognition.
His director from "A Most Wanted Man," Anton Corbijn commented on Hoffman's work in the film, "Philip Seymour Hoffman is the best actor I have ever worked with. He brought so much to the role of Bachmann. He is Bachmann. To me, although it is to an extent an ensemble piece, Bachmann was always the main character and Philip made it undeniably his film.”
So far, "A Most Wanted Man" had been a critical success. It has a superlative rating of 91% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com. Film critic Richard Roeper claims that "A Most Wanted Man," is one of the best thrillers in years and the film garnered positive reviews from both Variety and the NY Times. All the critics noted here remark on Hoffman's brilliant performance.
For now, it's your chance to seek out this film while it is still in theaters and judge for yourself.
"A Most Wanted Man," is rated R for language and has a run-time of two hours and two minutes.