At the time of writing, Philip Seymour Hoffman is 43 years old. Considering his near 20 year film career, 43 would perhaps have been at the lower end of my own estimates based on the 50+ acting credits that the American has racked up. He is particularly memorable in films such as The Big Lebowski (1998), The Talented Mr Ripley (1999), and, of course, his Oscar-winning performance in the titular role of Capote (2005).
Now, Hoffman has turned his hand to film direction. An experienced theatre director, it was perhaps an inevitability that the Fairport (NY) native would take the chair at some point. Having always possessed a mature presence on screen, even in his younger days, Hoffman seems to have the authority required to helm. For now, however, these ideas remain as idle speculation; the proof will arrive on screen.
This moment draws nearer with the release of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut Jack Goes Boating scheduled for 7th October 2011 in the UK. The trailer (below), gives an idea of the tone and pace of Hoffman’s first foray, and it seems that quirky romantic comedy is what we can expect.
The film, starring Hoffman, Amy Ryan and John Ortiz, tells the story of a single limo driver named Jack (Hoffman) whose blind date (arranged by friends) leads to companionship with another awkward soul (Ryan). There are problems ahead, however, as Jack’s married friends Clyde (John Ortiz) and Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega) have some issues in their own relationship as Jack’s new love grows deeper.
His learning to swim under Clyde’s tuition seems (from the trailer at least) as an analogous reference to his progress with Connie (Ryan) on the relationship front, and the crescendo of this trailer is accompanied by the choral indie stylings of Fleet Foxes.
Here is the first instance of Philip Seymour Hoffman at the helm, while performing the difficult task of acting the lead role himself. Are there echoes of Woody Allen to be found here in this relationship-based comedy/drama? What do you think of the trailer? Let us know!