When he passed away this past February, Phillip Seymour Hoffman left a lot of work behind. Specifically, there are four films — God’s Pocket, A Most Wanted Man and the last two Hunger Gameses — plus the pilot for a Showtime series called Happyish. This is good news (as good as good could be under the circumstances, anyway) if you’re a fan of Hoffman’s work, because 2014 is overstuffed with remembrances of the actor and his abilities.
Now, the trailers for Hoffman’s many posthumous performances are rolling out online. Newest among the bunch is God’s Pocket, a crime drama directed by Mad Men‘s John Slattery from a novel by Pete Dexter. Here, Hoffman is Mickey Scarpato, a working-class dude from the working-class Philadelphia neighborhood of God’s Pocket. His stepson is found dead under questionable circumstances, so naturally the rough-edged bastard with a heart of gold must crack the case, please the grieving dame (Christina Hendricks) and witness the beatings of various mooks. The whole thing seems more than a little film noirish.
This being Slattery’s feature debut, he’s used every ounce of his “remember me from Mad Men?” pull to attract the ideal indie cast. Along with Hoffman and Hendricks, this trailer shows off John Turturro, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Marsan. Keep a careful eye peeled and you’ll also spot Domenick Lombardozzi (Herc from The Wire) and Glenn Fleshler (True Detective‘s hulking lawnmower gentleman). Looks like True Detective might keep Fleshler in the impossibly huge man-mountain business for a long time. Also, I’m going to put it out there that Hoffman and Turturro would have made a great True Detective team, so God’s Pocket could be great Youtube mashup material.
Check out the trailer for God’s Pocket below and keep reading for a look at A Most Wanted Man as well.
Reviews for God’s Pocket are less stellar than the cast would suggest (other than a mostly positive review from The Guardian, no one seems to like it at all). And in case poor reviews aren’t your bag, here’s another of Hoffman’s last works that’s received far more praise: A Most Wanted Man.
In a trailer that debuted on Friday, Hoffman plays the spy game, using Rachel McAdams‘ youthful human rights lawyer and Willem Dafoe‘s megarich banker as pawns in the hunt for a terror cell. As Gunter Bachmann, Hoffman loses the jaunty, Philly tough guy accent for a gravelly German bass, falling somewhere between Liam Neeson’s Oscar Schindler and Tom Hardy’s Bane. Seriously, at 00:28, listen to Hoffman snarl “we find them” as McAdams is hooded and thrown in the back of an unmarked van. Perfect opportunity for a surprise Batarang.
Unlike God’s Pocket, A Most Wanted Man probably has 0% on the laugh-meter. But on the Tomatometer, it’s winning by about 74 points, which is probably worth something in the long run. Plus, the latter’s based off a John Le Carré novel, so we all know going in that the spy material is up to snuff. With some Hunger Games a little later and the eventual release of that Showtime pilot, 2014 will be stuffed to the rafters with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Make sure you take the time to enjoy it.
God’s Pocket releases on May 9th, A Most Wanted Man on July 25.