In honour of his memory, given the number of great performances, these are my absolute favourite Hoffman creations:
2. Lancaster Dodd in The Master (2012). He was simply deviously terrifying, utterly convincing at being psychotically persuasive, clever and delusional at the same time.
3. Truman Capote in Capote (2005). As clinical and controlled a performance as the film was, Hoffman did not forget to hint at the vulnerable human underneath, which elevated the film beyond what was written for it.
4. Dean Trumbell in Punch-Drunk Love (2002). It was a rare performance on the wild, entertaining side for Hoffman, though you know he was still very much the one in control.
5. Caden Cotard in Synecdoche, New York (2008). Hoffman has never been this discombobulated as a character, using all his weight to carry a difficult film that dealt with existential anxiety in the way that only Charlie Kaufman could. And Hoffman gave it as good as he ever did, in the same year he gave us a very assured Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt. His talent and versatility had very few equals of his generation.
Rest in peace, Philip Seymour Hoffman.