Posts Tagged ‘Doubt’

Richard on Philip Seymour Hoffman with Humble and Fred.

humblefred_-_E1T3882Entertainment reporter Richard Crouse calls in to talk about Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Woody Allen. Humble and Fred discuss the Superbowl and Rob Ford. Super Fan Sarah Twomey records a song about Chairman Mow and Eileen does the news.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

Richard on Canada AM: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s demons and legacy

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.10.35 PMCanada AM film critic Richard Crouse on the life and legacy of Hoffman, his lengthy battle with addiction and the impact of his death on Hollywood.
Watch the whole ting HERE!

NewsTalk 1010: Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46 by Siobhan Morris

Hoffman at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014
(Danny Moloshok/AP)

Critically-acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died Sunday from a suspected drug overdose.

The 46-year-old was found dead in his Greenwich Village home in New York Sunday morning. Hoffman has three children with his partner of 15 years, Mimi O’Donnell.

Sources tell the Associated Press Hoffman had a syringe stuck into his arm when he was found by a friend who called 911. There were also envelopes of heroin in the apartment. An autopsy to determine Hoffman’s cause of death is expected to take place Monday.

Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about his past struggles with addiction. After 23 years sober, he admitted to falling off the wagon with prescription pills and heroin. That led to a stint in rehab.

In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, Hoffman described his addictions as “pretty bad”. “I had no interest in drinking in moderation. And I still don’t”, he told the paper. “Just because all that time’s passed doesn’t mean maybe it was just a phase.”

Hoffman’s family released the following statement Sunday afternoon.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”

Movie critic Richard Crouse told Newstalk 1010 Sunday Hoffman had “an incredibly diverse career and knocked it out of the park virtually every time.”

Hoffman won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic “Capote”. He received three nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category for The Master, Doubt and Charlie Wilson’s War.

Crouse says Hoffman brought a soulful-ness and a believability to his performances. “When you saw him on screen, there was nothing really false about it, you never really saw the acting.”

One of Hoffman’s breakthrough roles was as a gay member of a porno film crew in “Boogie Nights”, one of several movies Paul Thomas Anderson-directed movies that he would eventually appear in.

Hoffman often took on comic, slightly off-kilter roles in movies like “Along Came Polly”, “The Big Lebowski” and “Almost Famous”, in which he plays real life rock critic Lester Bangs. Crouse says Hoffman’s turn as Bangs is his favourite performance by the actor.

“He seems like such a huge part of it and he’s just such a great shining white light in the middle of this movie, even though it is a relatively small part. And that’s a testament to his talent”, says Crouse.

Hoffman was set to reprise his role as Plutarch Heavensbee in the next instalment of the “The Hunger Games” franchise, “Mockingjay. Showtime recently announced Hoffman would star in “Happyish,” a TV comedy series about a middle-aged man’s pursuit of happiness.

Crouse says in interviews, Hoffman wasn’t interested in talking about his craft as an actor, but would speak passionately about books.

Hoffman began his acting career on stage. He studied theatre as a teenager with the New York State Summer School of the Arts and the Circle in the Square Theatre. He then majored in drama at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Hoffman performed in revivals of “True West,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “The Seagull”, a summer production that also featured Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. In 2012, he was more than equal to one of the great roles in American theatre, Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman”.

Hoffman was three times nominated for a Tony, but never won.


doubtpic2As a Broadway play Doubt ran for over a year, earning four Tony awards, including Best Play and Best Actress. As a film, starring Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, it is bound to earn several acting nominations come Oscar time, but I’m afraid it won’t earn awards for directing or Best Picture.

Set in the Bronx in 1964, Doubt centers on a nun, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep), who confronts a priest (Hoffman) after suspecting him abusing the school’s only African-American student (Joseph Foster). Of course he denies the charges and looks to Sister James (Amy Adams) for support.

Doubt starts off slowly. A little too slowly. Director, playwright and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley takes his time establishing a sense of time and place at the expense of the movie’s momentum. We meet the characters: Hoffman’s charming down-to-earth priest, Adams’s naïve nun and Streep’s terrifying nunzilla. Each are introduced and we learn something of their lives and routines, and while some of it is interesting—there is even the odd laugh here and there—the movie doesn’t pick up steam until an hour and a quarter in, but it is worth the wait.

With the introduction of Viola Davis     as Mrs. Muller, the frazzled mother of the young boy in question Doubt catches fire. Her showdown with the formidable Sister Aloysius contains some of the best written and best performed dialogue of the year. It’s an unsettling, surprising sequence that raises points about the flexibility of morality in extreme instances. Davis is on screen no more than six or seven minutes but will likely earn an Oscar nod for her work.

From that point on Doubt is one of the most compelling films of the year. Shanely carefully unveils the story to leave both the characters and the audience wondering what is true and what isn’t.

Doubt, like so many films this year, is a movie whose performances are better than the film itself. Hoffman expertly toggles back and forth between Father Flynn’s personality extremes—a controlling nature tempered by a large dollop of charm while Adams is all wide eyed naiveté.

They’re impressive, but Streep steals the show. Her Sister Aloysius is like an onion which reveals itself one layer at a time. When we first meet her she is the stereotypical strict nun, ruling her school by fear. When she calls one boy to the office for a minor infraction Father Flynn comments, “the dragon is hungry today.” She’s an anachronism, a woman whose ordered world is changing too quickly. Unable to keep up she thinks the song Frosty the Snowman espouses pagan beliefs and the ball point pen is a vehicle of change for the worse. “Every easy choice will have a consequence tomorrow.” She’s old school, but under that hard-line exterior is a deeply caring person who will not be pushed around.

When she accuses Father Flynn, her superior in the chain of command, of inappropriate behavior he says, “I can fight you!” “You will lose,” she snaps back, unafraid. It’s powerful stuff, made even more effective by Streep’s performance. The battle scenes between these two, complete with tightly written verbal warfare, are as dynamic and exciting as any action scene I’ve seen in a movie this year.

Doubt is a beautifully performed guessing game, with dynamite dialogue and thought provoking views on morality, religion and authority. It’s hard to believe that the same man who wrote this also penned Joe and the Volcano.

Academy Awards’ no-nunsense films In Focus by Richard Crouse December 12, 2008

doubt4_LIf Meryl Streep earns an Academy Award for her performance as the formidable Sister Aloysius Beauvier, a nun who confronts a priest after suspecting him of abusing an African American student in Doubt, she will join a short but prestigious list of actresses who have won gold playing nuns.

The first to win an Oscar for portraying a sister was Jennifer Jones in 1943’s The Song of Bernadette; next, Susan Sarandon won for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking.

Nuns have a long cinematic history and everyone from Ingrid Bergman to Mary Tyler Moore to Eric Idle has donned a habit for dramatic effect. Nuns have flown, sung and even been shipwrecked with Robert Mitchum on a Pacific Island, but my favorite big screen nun is Sister Assumpta in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.

The title sounds ripped from the headlines, but is actually taken from a 1994 novel by Chris Fuhrman.

Set in the early 1970s, the film revolves around a group of teenage boys obsessed with comic books. Their ringleader, Tim, played by Kieran Culkin, is a prankster who schemes to get revenge on Sister Assumpta, a joyless, strict nun with a prosthetic leg played by Jodie Foster.

Learning most of what they know of the world from the superhero adventures written by Stan Lee, they believe there are only two types of people — heroes and villains. Sister Assumpta falls into the latter category and becomes the subject of a “blasphemous” comic book drawn by the boys featuring the evil motorcycle-driving Nunzilla.

The guys imagine themselves as the heroes who do battle with Nunzilla’s sisterly minions. Once the comic book is discovered the boys are expelled from school, assured by Sister Assumpta that not only are they not welcome at school anymore, they likely won’t be welcome in Heaven either.

Foster’s Sister Assumpta spits hellfire in every sentence. She plays the sister as a strict disciplinarian who truly believes she is doing the best to save her students from damnation. Her peg leg is just a physical manifestation of her rigid personality. It’s something different for Foster, who pulls it off with aplomb.

For more adventurous viewers, there are nunsploitation movies. Sometimes called Convent Erotica, these movies are not for the easily offended and have titles like Killer Nun and Behind the Convent Walls. Watch them, but don’t forget to say ten Hail Marys afterwards.