“A MOST WANTED MAN”
The last of his movies to be released while he was alive? A Most Wanted Man, a spy drama which debuted in January 2014 at the Sundance film festival. We stumbled upon this little-known gem of a movie in the $5 discount bin at some big box retailer and gave it watch over the weekend.
Directed by Anton Corbijn – famous for his Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Nirvana and U2 music videos – A Most Wanted Man is an adaptation of a novel by famed British spy writer John le Carré. It centers around a German anti-terrorism unit’s efforts to follow the money trail of a suspected al-Qaeda financier. Set in Hamburg and Berlin, it co-stars Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright – each of whom gives stellar supporting performances (especially McAdams, who rocks blond curls and a little junk in the trunk for this role).
But Hoffman’s portrayal of German team leader Günther Bachmann is what moves the movie. It’s positively riveting … effortlessly advancing the ebb and flow of a cerebral thriller which didn’t require a single gunshot (not even as an exclamation point on its climax) to keep us hooked from start to finish.
That’s how good Hoffman is … or was. And while his performance in A Most Wanted Man will probably never garner the industry accolades showered upon his Oscar-winning portrayal of Truman Capote, it was a compelling reminder of his character acting genius.
And how his genius will be missed …
Sure Hoffman had cameos in the last two movies in The Hunger Games’ franchise (one of which has yet to be released), but A Most Wanted Man was his last leading role – and he absolutely hit it out of the park.
If you haven’t seen the movie, look for it next time you’re out …
It’s worth watching on its own merit, but its status as Hoffman’s coda makes it all the more special.