To be honest it is one of the few films he is in that I could find on Netflix streaming and I am not quite ready to commit to revisiting “Capote.” I haven’t seen nearly enough of Hoffman’s performances, but his portrayal of Truman Capote is one of my favorites. I easily could have played the DVD tonight, as it sits on the shelf next to my desk, but I needed something a bit more uplifting.
“Punch-Drunk Love” fit the bill for the most part, even though it is at times unsettling to watch the internal struggles of Adam Sandler’s character (Barry Egan) on screen.
As Egan works through psychological problems and the unexpected aftermath of calling a phone sex line, he falls in love with Lena (Emily Watson).
Hoffman steals scenes as Dean Trumbell, the owner of a mattress store that is a front for the phone sex line. It’s hard not to love him in the role and laugh in the few scenes where he is screaming expletives and “shut up!”
“Punch-Drunk Love” was Hoffman’s second-to-last film with writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson, who most recently cast the late actor in “The Master.”
I obviously didn’t know Hoffman, but I think he’s the type of actor who builds a connection with his fans through becoming each character on-screen and bringing his own ideas and experiences to each role.
Sadly, he had many more projects in the works that will never be complete.
Since his death many critics have said Hoffman, even with his catalog of acting, writing and directing dating back to the early 1990s, was just getting to his prime and definitely had a lot more to offer.
All that can be done now is to appreciate the gift he shared with all of us and respect the person he was.
“That’s that.” (Dean Trumbell)