3. Brandt in The Big Lebowski

A film I’m sure you all know and love, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s role as The real Lebowski’s butler is nothing short of perfection. From the opening exchange between him and The Dude, as the latter peruses The Big Lebowski’s awards and photographic memories, you get a superbly crafted impression of his character within seconds. Hoffman’s pristine posture and polite, slightly nervous delivery paint a portrait of an uptight, diffident and unnervingly conscientious individual who is beguilingly emotionally attached to his cruel employer.

Brandt isn’t in the film very often, only featuring in a few choice scenes but this doesn’t hold Hoffman back in the slightest. Delivering some subtle yet devastating laughs in each and every scene, Hoffman manages to sculpt an extremely entertaining and fully rounded character out of a very small amount of screen time and dialogue. Be it in his nervous fist-clenching, his apprehensive yet heartfelt delivery of the superb “Her life is in your hands, dude” line or his embarrassed laughter at Bunny’s mocking joke, Hoffman’s portrayal of Brandt is absolutely charming and an undeniable highlight of his career.

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This article was first posted on January 8, 2013