Following the unexplained suicide of his wife, Liza, website designer Wilson Joel (Hoffman) turns to gasoline fumes and remote control gaming while avoiding an inevitable conflict with his mother-in-law (Bates). Starrin... more »g Philip Seymour Hoffman (Punch-Drunk Love, 25th Hour, Magnolia), Academy Award Winner Kathy Bates (About Schmidt, Primary Colors, Titantic).« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 2/15/2014...
Love Liza is all about love and how tragically it can be ripped from you! Phillip Seymour Hoffman gives a mesmerizing performance in this movie called a “comic tragedy” on the cover. I found it to be totally sad yet captivating. He attempts to drown his feelings by “huffing” gasoline and sleeping on the floor instead of their bed after his wife kills herself. He keeps a suicide note she left for him (under his pillow) and does not read it until near the movie’s end. His mother in law (Kathy Bates) has her own demons to deal with after her daughter’s tragic end and both must work out their emotions with no help from each other. Overall this is a sad movie but the acting talent makes it all work somehow. We will absolutely miss Hoffman!
Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX Reviewed on 5/11/2012...
There is very little comic about this movie. It is about pain, lose, and suffering. If that is your thing then this movie is probably right up your alley. There is some great acting, and the writting is good. I was just pretty depressed at the end of it.
If you are looking for something to bring you down to reality this movie will deliver, but have a comedy handy because it is pretty strong.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brilliant portrayal of loss and dispair
Michael S. Morgan | 05/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure how or why the other two reviewers missed the point of the movie. Hoffman is simply brilliant as Wilson, a young man trying to cope with everyday life after his wife kills herself less than 3 weeks earlier. She left a note, which Philip Seymour Hoffman finds but struggles to work up the courage to open and read. His newfound addiction to 'huffing' gas only adds to his inability to handle work, his friends, or doing anything other than getting high. If you like Philip Seymour Hoffman in his other depressing work (Happiness), you'll see that he's become a master of the role. Yes, there are moments of uncomfortable laughter, but that doens't make Love Liza a comedy. Its not. Its a very depressing, yet wonderfully acted, film. The dialog was natural -- which is to say that it was simple, confused, and sometimes directionless -- exactly how you would expect an addicted, young man coping with the suicide of his wife would be. Kathy Bates is excellent as the mother of the deceased, trying to cope with her loss as well. She battles with Hoffman, trying to be supportive, yet urging him to open the letter, hoping to find some answers to why her daugter killed herself.This is a brilliant film, with Philip Seymour Hoffman at his absolute best. But if anyone suggests that this is a "dark comedy" - beware. There is no comedy here. Unless you think coping with the loss of your wife is funny."
Phenomenal performance and script.
cplewis | Merrifield, Virginia United States | 10/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was phenomenal and was gone from the theatres way too quickly -- but luckily for all of us, it's now available on DVD. Phillip Seymour Hoffman's tragic, grief-stricken performance was one of the highlights of this film -- it's about time he was cast in a role that was tailor-made for him as this one was ("Love Liza" was written by his brother Gordy Hoffman).This film is an excellent portrayal of a man who is coping with the suicide of his wife and who adopts a hobby to cover up a huffing habit as if he were a rebellious teenager. The film ends as abstractly as it begins, without falling into the Hollywood trap of tying everything up into a neat little package, and for that we can all be grateful. It will be interesting to see where director Todd Louiso and the two Hoffmans go next."
A powerhouse performance by Hoffman
Michael S. Morgan | Las Vegas | 07/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love Liza is a cinematic masterpiece that takes us into the lonely world of a man consumed with guilt over the suicide of his wife. Phillip Seymour Hoffman gives a stunning and brilliant performance as Wilson. Not long into the movie we find that Wilson's wife Liza left him a suicide note that he cannot bring himself to read. Constantly hounded by his mother-in-law, played to perfection by Kathy Bates, he searches for any kind of release and finds it in an odd form, huffing gasoline fumes. Penned by Hoffman's brother Gordy, this film places us in a position most of us can relate with, the loss of a loved one. Phillip Seymour Hoffman delivers an Oscar calliber performance in a role that seems tailor made for him. Hoffman is strikingly believable and a pleasure to watch. He delivers every emotion and movement in just the right places and with great percision. He is truly one of the greatest actors that Hollywood houses today. I recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of excellent films and actors. Carried by a terrific screenplay and brilliant performances by both Hoffman and Kathy Bates, Love Liza can't miss."
Quintessential Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Kasey Driscoll | 02/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"To have such an amazingly deep sense of drama but yet have such a shallow and flat story that does little more than put you through hell for 90 minutes is a shame...but Love Liza is not a bad movie. There is little in way of symbolism or lessons learned in this film, it merely tells of a man who tragically loses his wife to suicide and attempts to comment no further. If watching a movie that attempts to challenge your patience for the sadness is something you enjoy then Love Liza would be recommended, but the film simply lacks the meat that exists in so many films that are meant to entertain and/or to make you think.
On the upswing we get to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a feature role where he is free to do what he does better than anyone...whine, gripe and look utterly disoriented. He is a fantastic actor and this role sharpens and showcases his talents brilliantly. Kathy Bates is also very enjoyable as his mother in law, the mother of his late wife.
One thing is for sure, you'll be sad and wanting more from this film but part of that is intentional. It's a small movie in more ways than one but if you've enjoyed Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Boogie Nights or Happiness, this is his reprisal of those roles in some respects and we seem to get an even closer look as he takes it to another level here...that counts for something. Hoffman is a phenomenal actor."