The Last Photographs of Hoffman

February 4, 2014

The picture cuts to the resignation of a human being overwhelmed by addiction, such that it’s almost more a portrait of that than it is a portrait of the person. I interpret it as the look of someone who thought he had won his fight against the wolf of addiction but who suddenly finds himself right back in the battle again, as deeply as ever. That’s just supposition, supplied by my imagination and a few cues from news stories. But his struggle is right there before our eyes—right there in his eyes. Celebrity and success utterly impotent as weapons against the great weight of that despair.

As great a “psychological portrait” as I’ve ever seen, but one I very much wish we didn’t have.