Philip Seymour Hoffman

Let’s just be honest here and admit that George Clooney is one incredibly attractive guy. I’m referring to more than just his roguish charm, unflappable sense of humor, and boyish grin of course as his most appealing characteristic is his professional ethos. He’s popular, wealthy, and capable of being cast in as many big budget films as he could want, but he consistently returns to to smaller, more personal films that tell stories and explore ideals that he values even when it earns him flack. That and his villa on Italy’s Lake Como make him someone that I would not rush to kick out of my hypothetical, friends only, no-touching-unless-we’re-having-a-pillow-fight bed. As an actor he’s balanced studio pics like the Ocean’s Eleven films with smart, adult thrillers like Michael Clayton and The American. As a director he’s countered the brilliant Good Night, and Good Luck with… Leatherheads. Okay, bad example, but the point is the man has range. Check out the trailer for his latest directorial effort below.

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George Clooney has a new political film on the way, which shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone. But there’s new news that the film will be opening the Venice Film Festival, which… uh, shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone. The new movie is called The Ides of March, and it’s an adaptation of a Beau Willimon play called “Farragut North.” But that’s an obscure reference to a stop on the DC metro line, so they decided to go all Shakespearean on the title for a film adaptation. Clooney directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Grant Heslov. The story is a sort-of take on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean, with Clooney as the Howard Dean type, Ryan Gosling playing his naïve, young spokesman, and Paul Giamatti a rival campaign manager. Also involved are names like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marissa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood. Whoa: good names. Clooney is no stranger to the Venice Film Festival, as in 2005 they showered him with awards for Good Night, and Good Luck, he’s been there to promote stuff like his Coen brothers collaboration Burn After Reading, and they even let him promote that one boring thing The Men Who Stare at Goats there two years ago. Suffice it to say, Clooney’s standing with the Fest is strong. There has been no official word that The Ides of March will be the film opening the fest, but Variety claims to have a source that’s let the information […]

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In my eyes Paul Thomas Anderson is pretty much the most bulletproof director working in Hollywood today. After a string of movies including the likes of Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood I’ve built up faith that anything he does is going to be extraordinary. So I’ve been following the development of his next film, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as the founder of a Scientology-like cult, very closely. In a happy bit of news, it seems like the film is one step closer to starting production, as in the past week several casting decisions have been made.

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The last time I heard some news about Paul Thomas Anderson, he had two possible projects that he was working on, and heiress Megan Ellison was going to help him finance them. There’s big news on that front as The Weinstein Company has won the rights to distribute the religious drama Anderson has written that was once titled The Master. Whether or not that will remain the film’s title is unknown, as it has reportedly undergone some serious rewrites, but it is now confirmed as Anderson’s next film. The project already has Philip Seymour Hoffman set to star as the creator of a new religion in post WWII America. The movie seems to explore the beginnings of a cult movement, and is said to have a parallel or two to the life of L. Ron Hubbard and his founding of Scientology. Perhaps further exploring the theme of lost souls, Anderson has also cast Joaquin Phoenix, who has recently returned to acting after a very public and very fake meltdown. Other than that, not too many details are known, but what else do we need? All you have to tell me is that PT Anderson is making another movie and I’m on board. Get Hoffman in a starring role and I’m positively salivating. A release date for this one can’t come soon enough, no matter what it ends up being called. [Deadline Tilden]

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film has been announced, and we now know that it may strike a tone similar to his last film, the critically acclaimed There Will Be Blood. In this next opus, Anderson will take on the creation of a new religion…

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The first trailer for Adam Elliot’s brilliant claymation film Mary and Max, which was chosen as the opening film for this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has arrived online.

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The Broadway play goes from the big stage to the big screen as playwright John Patrick Shanley adapts his own work with the help of award-winning film actors Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Sundance 2009

If there is one thing that I love about the coming of the cold and the snow in the late fall here in Ohio, it is that it reminds me that the Sundance Film Festival is just around the corner.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman and Charlie Kaufman on Synecdoche, New York

When you think about Charlie Kaufman, you aren’t going to be thinking about movies that are simple, or easy to understand when taken at face value. But for those paying attention to his work, they know that it is often brilliant.

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The folks at Warner Bros. continue to remind us that Christopher Nolan hasn’t even decided to do another movie, let alone choose cast for one. But as always, that could change on a dime, especially if loose-lipped executives continue to chat with the equally loose-lipped Michael Caine.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

Apparently what Philip Seymour Hoffman really wants to do is, you guessed it, direct.

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Your chance to win a free copy of The Savages

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Synechdoche, New York

It might not have a rocket-propelled man shooting missiles at tanks or a anthropologist hero taking down Nazis with his whip, but Synecdoche, New York deserves all the buzz it can get.

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Oscar Week continues as we break down the nominees for Best Supporting Actor. Find out who we think will take home Oscar’s gold…

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A charming recount of a not so charming period (if there ever was one) in American foreign affairs.

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After at least a decade, if not much more, of lackluster films from Sidney Lumet, the fading titan has strikingly returned to form with a fiery, blustering crash. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is easily the best-acted film of the year, but what’s more is that it’s a sharp piece of cultural criticism about late capitalism and the depths of tragedy it’s capable of producing. Nearly three-quarters of the way into the film, Marisa Tomei asks her husband, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, for car fare to her mother’s house; “I could really use some money,” she says, and she might as well be speaking for every character in the film. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is about money, pure and anything but simple: its role as America’s driving force, main object of desire and the one thing of which no one seems to have enough. Hoffman is introduced in a position of dominance, retrocopulating with his wife Tomei (it’s surprisingly graphic, despite being filmed in a non-revealing long shot), a dominance he’ll resume, though not in a porously-penetrative way, throughout the rest of the film in regards to his little brother, played by Ethan Hawke. Hoffman pushes him into a robbery he doesn’t want, nor have the brains, to commit but both, to their undoing, are in desperate need of the cash they assure themselves that they’ll score. (And Hoffman, the cokeheaded corporate exec, is too much the coward to do it himself.) Hoffman is obsessed with […]

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Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is as good of a film as Sidney Lumet has ever made and that is really saying something considering he’s been at it for over half-a-century.

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Unlike the talkative Lions for Lambs, you can come away with an entertaining message movie that’s a breezy hour-and-a-half.

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The other night I caught another trailer for Charlie Wilson’s War in front of American Gangster, and I have to say that it looks pretty good.

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Some may remember that Tamara Jenkins first got acclaim with her last film The Slums of Beverly Hills in 1998. The Savages could not be a more different movie-but they are both fantastic.

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