It’s staggering to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in his last but one film. It was immense talent last too soon, and fair to say whilst in his prime too, with countless performances racking up – God’s Pocket included. He had a flair for choosing quality films it seemed. Hoffman in fact liked God’s Pocket so much that he also signed on as producer.
Directed by Mad Man actor, John Slattery, the film sees Jeanie’s (Christina Hendricks) jackass son killed in an apparent work accident. His petty criminal step-father (P.S.H) loses the funeral money to a horse, which then leaves him with the body hours before the ceremony. What follows in a dark comedy of errors (mainly on Hoffman’s part), is the characters developing over a three day setting. The film notably also stars Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, Eddie Marsden and Caleb Landrey.
Taken back to the gritty 1970’s outlook, God’s Pocket is very much a period drama – a dark nuance one at that. The blue collar lifestyle, costumes, cars and furnishings all blend with authentic nostalgia in true from Peter Dexter’s novel, of which the film is adapted from.
Hoffman, who plays the central lead is the key for the film as he portrays an outsider in Philadelphia slum, known as God’s Pocket. It was underrated upon its cinematic release, and also struck hard-times at the box-office – unfortunately this is often the case for indie films, no matter the quality. Although, even with the greatness of the film, and the fact it was one of PSH’s last films, it will sadly not stand with his last filmography.