The film is set in post-911 Hamburg where German and American intelligence officers are working to keep further terrorist activities in check. Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a German operative who has set his interests on a Chechen refugee who mysteriously turns up in town, laying stake to a large inheritance. When the man contacts an idealistic human rights lawyer (Rachel McAdams), he also piques the interest of an American CIA agent (Robin Wright).
Who is this most wanted mad? An innocent, or a pawn in a larger conspiracy? Agencies on all sides want to pounce, but Günther wants to hold out for the long game, convinced that if he’s patient he can uncover something bigger.
Sadly, A Most Wanted Man would be Hoffman’s last contribution to the world of film. The Denver post writes, “With his sharp instincts and exhausted wisdom, the character of Günther offers us a bittersweet reminder of Hoffman’s gifts in what is his last completed film.”
After a string of small performances, Hoffman became a recognizable face in the late ’90s when he appeared in the film Twister. He left an impression as the scruffy, smart-mouthed, storm-chasing sidekick. A few years later he followed up with Boogie Nights, as the childlike and lovesick Scotty. His standout performance in this star-studded ensemble solidified him on the screen as a talent on the rise.
After earning his stripes with supporting roles in films such as Flawless, Magnolia and Almost Famous, he parlayed into leading roles in several award-winning films. In Capote, he captured audiences with a nuanced performance as the eccentric author, earning him an Academy Award for “Best Actor.” In Doubt, his stirring portrayal of a charismatic priest accused of inappropriate behavior earned him “Best Actor” nominations by the Academy, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. Younger generations also got to appreciate his unique talent when he joined the cast of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman left behind a phenomenal collection of movies. Neither branded a leading man nor a character actor, his breed of performance was in a category of its own. His acting came from a raw place of emotion. Whether his characters made you laugh or made you cringe, they always left you with the urge to applaud.