"These are not antiheroes in the cable television, charismatic bad-boy sense of the term. They are, in many cases (and there are more, going all the way back to “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and even the 1992 “Scent of a Woman”), thoroughly awful people: pathetic, repellent, undeserving of sympathy. Mr. Hoffman rescued them from contempt precisely by refusing any easy route to redemption.
He did not care if we liked any of these sad specimens. The point was to make us believe them and to recognize in them — in him — a truth about ourselves that we might otherwise have preferred to avoid. He had a rare ability to illuminate the varieties of human ugliness. No one ever did it so beautifully.”