***½/**** Image B Sound A- Commentary B+
starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Jack Kehler, Sarah Koskoff
screenplay by Gordy Hoffman
directed by Todd Louiso
by Walter Chaw Philip Seymour Hoffman is Dante and the slings and arrows of mendacity are his Virgil, chasing him through the inferno of his day to day. A remarkable actor at his frequent best when deserted by a lover, Hoffman in Love Liza is Wilson Joel, a man whose wife has just killed herself and left a sealed letter behind. It becomes his albatross, toted around unexamined, as Wilson descends on a spiral of juvenile addiction (gasoline huffing) and avoidance. He sleeps on the floor outside his bedroom and does his best to dodge his mother-in-law (Kathy Bates)--hiding the sharp odour of his addiction behind the lie of becoming a radio-controlled airplane pilot.