I was devastated from announcement word one of PSH’s death, not only because he was from my neck of the woods (Rochester area), but I met him once as well, at the hometown debut of his film “Flawless” at the Little Theater in 1999. He was two people; just a guy who seemed sweet and normal and the acting genius that was his career.
Today I saw him in one of his last roles as Mickey Scarpato of John Slattery’s directed “God’s Pocket”. First let me call out any critic who divested the measly 33 % I last spied on Rotten Tomatoes. I have already shown my prejudice, being enamored with PSH’s work, yet even an unsophisticated movie goer could wholeheartedly applaud PSH’s and Richard Jenkins’ performances over the 50% mark.
Philip Seymor Hoffamn may best be remembered decades from now as the consummate sad sack, this time in God’s Pocket cuckolded to an uncaring shrew. And Richard Jenkins (whose poorly written role in the recent college related movie “Liberal Arts” stunk out the dorm room) returned to his master class form with a much more carnivorous role, of a desperate alcoholic journalist.
My favorite scene for poignancy depicted PSH’s Mickey dejectedly undressing to take a despairing Whiteny-esque bath after his wife literally (and figuratively) rejected him. His character makes me want to contact Tammy Wynette to rewrite her famous song into “Stand By Your Woman”, making Hillary Clinton’s forgiveness look like chump change.
The one minor critique of the film is its ending, which I will not spoil here. As my son aptly said, it was too much of a mood change.
Seek out God’s Pocket (though you must look deeply as most mainstream theaters aren’t grabbing this worthwhile indie flick) and let me know if you agree.