I thought I’d take a moment and join my incredulous voice with the thousands of others on the internet regarding the dominating cultural event of the weekend, and I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. I write about movies and pop culture a lot here, anyway, so I think it makes sense to share my reaction.
On Sunday, when Callaghan broke the calm silence of our morning to blurt that Philip Seymour Hoffman was dead – the half-pause-prefaced audible raised eyebrow at the end of his statement being the damning clue that this wasn’t a hoax – my reaction was physical: my eyes instantly dampened, and my lungs sucked in air suddenly and forcefully, involuntarily, the way they do when you’re slammed in the stomach, and I shouted NO! as my fingers ransacked the keyboard in a fruitless search for evidence to the contrary. It can’t be true. But the reality of the situation darkened the room the more I looked. The lights were on, but the dim and shock lingered. I keyed in WTF NO on Facebook and spent the rest of the day swallowing back tears, a cloud like an open gut suspended above my head. I didn’t let a single tear fall because I felt like that would make it more real, but I was surprised. I don’t cry easily; that my reaction to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman was so visceral rather astonished me. I’m one of many who felt his death as a personal loss.
It just never occurred to me that there could be such a thing as a body of cinematic and theatrical work absent of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s genius, but that is what we have before us. Who is going to play all the parts he would have played, and so resoundingly make us believe that only he could have played them?
In the words of Brandt, “Well Dude, we just don’t know.”