Tell me to watch a contemporary movie and expect Philip Seymour Hoffman to be out-acted by someone else on screen and I’d think you a ignorant fool.
Joaquin Phoenix is such a powerhouse in this movie, his mesmerising performance dictating, nay, commanding your attention each and every time he has a scene. It’s captivating stuff really as we follow his descent into destructive, addictive personality disorders, sympathising, even fearful at times, as he falls slowly down the spiral, eventually landing in the care of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Utterly absorbed in his role, even down to his physical gait that changes and becomes ever more exaggerated as the movie progresses.
We are eventually asked to make considerations as to the true purpose of the relationship between the alcoholic and the psychologist/philosopher/cultist and we can all draw upon reasoned and logical conclusion there.
There are solid breaks occasionally where you feel the plot has either dragged or jumped sections and there are questions unanswered, but Amy Adams plugs these holes providing us with the occasional hint that things aren’t as they seem.
Either way, I’ve not seen such incredible performances from a movie in a while, assuring us that it is still possible for the skills of an actor to carry a movie, regardless of the strength of its plot.0