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Love Liza (2002)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Director:
Todd Louiso Todd Louiso
Starring:
Philip Seymour Hoffman Philip Seymour Hoffman
J.D. Walsh J.D. Walsh
Jimmy Raskin Jimmy Raskin
Kathy Bates Kathy Bates
Erika Alexander Erika Alexander

7.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Drama, Psychological Drama
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: June 14, 2005
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this might possibly be the saddest, most heartfelt, and emotionally pulverizing movie from the past few years, and that includes "Life As A House", "Moonlight Mile", and even "Schindler's List". I absolutely found this film to be riveting and so unique in the way it shows loss and redemption and finding comfort in others. Philip Seymour Hoffman is a genius, and this film is his best ever, a true testament to his talent and to his drive; this film took four years to finish.

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as Wilson Joel, a website designer, who is dealt a horrifying blow. His wife commits suicide. We then follow Wilson through his grief process. All the while, he carries an unopened letter from his deceased wife, Liza, too afraid to open it and read the words within. He becomes addicted to huffing gasoline, and starts associating with radio-control/boat and plan enthusiasts, trying to find something to take his mind off the pain. He knows all the while that only reading the letter will help him heal, but he just can't bring himself to do it. Throughout this period, he is constantly avoiding a confrontation with his mother-in-law, played by the flawless Kathy Bates in another Oscar worthy performance--this is possibly her best role to date.

The performance was Philip Seymour Hoffman is almost indescribable. I hate to do this far out on a limb, but this might be one of the best acting performances of all-time, from any actor. He so perfectly captures the despair and longing behind his character, that we sympathize with him all the way and feel everything he is feeling at face value. When he finally goes to see Kathy Bates, our hearts are bleeding from the moment they meet until the moment they part. This is everything a dramatic motion picture is suppose to be.

I don't know if this will be on my best of list for next year, because I think this qualifies as a last year contender. If so, this one would replace my current number one. This is a powerful movie going experience and one of the finest directing debuts of all-time, from the gifted Todd Louiso. I recommend this film to anyone and everyone who wants to be affected in a positive way by a film. If this review has not been enough to make you rush to go out and see this when it goes wide, then I don't know what else to do other than to say you would be missing out on a triumph; a truly mesmerizing film. 9/10.
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