Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman: His Top Ten Movies (Better Late Than Never)

The Grim Reaper has been especially cruel this year in his dispatching of Hollywood legends. Less than two weeks ago, we lost the beloved Robin Williams to the ravages of depression. Only one week prior to Williams’s passing, TV and film legend James Garner died of natural causes. And just one day after the media reported on the unfortunate death of Williams, it was revealed that another legend had died – the beautiful Lauren Bacall, also of natural causes.

But as regards acting titans, this past February we lost someone whose screen legacy may have towered over all of theirs. Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, passed away in his New York home. Depression-related accidental drug overdose was the cause of death. I mention the cause of Hoffman’s death merely as a reminder that genius – as was also the case with Williams – is so often tortured.

As I wrote about Williams’s passing (read about it here), I said to myself, “I should have written something similar after Philip Hoffman died.” I mentioned this to a few friends who commented on my Williams blog post, and they encouraged me to write about Hoffman anyway, even if several months had passed. And here we are. I hope, Loyal Reader, that you’ll find this a good piece of nostalgia.

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Oscar Nominations 2012-13 – predictions

My blog entry for today is not about Mexico. Nor is it about the series of events that led to my moving to Mexico. Before I fell in love with travel, I fell in love with movies – since I was a child, actually – and although I don’t obsess about them to the degree that I once did, they still provide much enjoyment in my life – especially when I’m not traveling.

Oscar season is a particularly fun time of year for me. I always enjoy predicting the nominees before they are announced, reacting to them once they are announced (well, not at 5:30 a.m. when they’re read off, but later that same day), and watching the big show, typically the only night of television that – at least in the U.S. – rivals the Super Bowl as the year’s most-watched broadcast.

In years past, my conversations about the predicted nominees were limited to a few seconds of office water cooler chit-chat, and a couple hours’ worth of internet movie message board postings. I always made it a point to see as many of the nominated movies as possible, so most of my moving-going friends simply couldn’t keep up. Alas, I’m a bit behind this year, as some movies released in the last months of 2012 still haven’t opened here (“Les Misérables,” for example, doesn’t open until February 15th). Still, I’ve seen two-thirds of the contenders, and the amateur critic in me has come up with my own “wish list” of nominees.

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