It's only the last week of October, but conversations are already starting about year end top 10 lists around the HitFix offices. Looking back over the past 10 months there are a number of films that are worthy of consideration. Some more obvious than others. One film that probably won't make a number of lists, but probably needs to be seen again because it's too good to ignore, is Anton Corbijn's “A Most Wanted Man.”
A surprise summer art house hit grossing $17 million, “A Most Wanted Man” has stuck with me since it screened at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Because it was slotted after the festival's first weekend, most critics and media didn't make it a viewing priority. It just looked like another pseudo-indie thriller that probably didn't work but would appeal to the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City and sponsor crowd that often fill the public screening seats during the week.
Clearly, the media circus was wrong. “Man” turned out to be a superb slow burning thriller with fantastic performances from Willem Dafoe and Philip Seymour Hoffman in particular. The latter tragically passed away less than two weeks after the film's Sundance debut, but his portrayal of Günther Bachmann, a German intelligence agent struggling to get the job done while battling government bureaucracy, will be remembered as some of the best work of his career.
One moment that specifically stands out is the film's powerful final scene, an act of betrayal that finds Bachmann erupting in an emotional manner we'd have never expected. When awards season pundits talk about the Best Actor race being 10-deep, Hoffman's work here is one reason why. That being said, the likelihood of him or the film getting nominated is remote, but hopefully someone will shine the spotlight on it during awards season.
In the meantime, we have an exclusive behind-the-scenes video featuring Hoffman and his co-star, Rachel McAdams, which you can watch embedded at the top of this post. It's some nice insight into the making of the film and some rare footage of Hoffman discussing the picture.
Most importantly, if you haven't seen “A Most Wanted Man” yet, you really need to. It's a must for any real movie fan on the lookout for the best films of the year.
“A Most Wanted Man” is available digitally tomorrow and on DVD/Blu-ray Nov. 4.