Philip Seymour Hoffman rests in peace, which is more than can be said for the dead body he finds himself lumbered with in John Slattery’s (aka Mad Men’s Roger) directorial debut. Unable to afford an undertaker for his stepson’s cadaver, Hoffman’s South Philly sadsack winds up carting the stiff around in a stolen meat truck – just one of several indignities that the late Leon Hubbard (Caleb Landry Jones) suffers in a blackly comedic look at working class folk that plays like a downbeat Weekend At Bernie’s.
This is not, in short, the towering testament to its late star that one might have hoped for. Yet it is a reminder of what he could bring to even middling material – the ability to turn the most pathetic, schlubby weakling into a perfect miniature of the human condition.
The first Philip Seymour Hoffman film to be released since his death holds few surprises for anyone familiar with his back catalogue. Perhaps inevitably, though, he’s the best thing in it.