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LOVE LIZA

"Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a tour de force portrayal of a man shattered by his wife's death...It's a great performance that's a horror to watch. Of all the bleak year-end movies, 'Love Liza' is the bleakest; of all the sad characters you've seen lately, Hoffman's Wilson Joel is the saddest...What saves 'Love Liza' from sinking under its own weight are a few appreciated spurts of comic relief, and Hoffman's courageously raw performance." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"The masterful Philip Seymour Hoffman, who delivers the season's best supporting performance in '25th Hour,' owns the screen again with his first movie leading role in 'Love Liza,' an indie inky-black comedy...an oddly endearing little chamber piece that provides a terrific showcase for Hoffman, surely the best actor who has never been nominated for an Oscar." --Lou Lumenick, The New York Post

"'Love Liza' is downbeat and dreary, one man's descent into inhalant-fueled oblivion... Except as an acting exercise or an exceptionally dark joke, you wonder what anyone saw in this film that allowed it to get made...'Love Liza' has little to say about suicide or coping with grief or even addiction...it's like one long, drug-fueled hallucination." --Marshall Fine, The Journal News

"Mr. Hoffman appears in nearly every frame of 'Love Liza," a piercing study of spousal grief...and his omnipresence is something of a mixed blessing. His skills--for precision and understatement, and for unexpectedly allowing a gleeful, almost crazed energy to burst out in otherwise somber circumstances--are impressively evident, but the movie is so small and emotionally constricted that it gives him too little room to explore his range...our nearly complete lack of knowledge about his life before Liza's death makes his suffering more of a spectacle we watch from outside that a predicament we might sympathize with." -- A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Hoffman holds the screen with ease and confidence in what is a terrifically tough film to watch. 'Dark and demanding' doesn't begin to describe this devastating film, which holds out the possibility of redemption and rebirth on the slenderest of threads...Determinedly modest in tone, 'Love Liza' is a fiercely brave and honest work." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times