Love Liza

Rated 4.0

Web site designer Wilson Joel (25th Hour’s Philip Seymour Hoffman in excellent form) begins sniffing gasoline after his wife commits suicide. His attempts to self-medicate and his possibly misguided communion with the dead (his wife died inhaling car exhaust) are delivered in impressionistic episodes that are not without moments of humor. Under a pillow, he finds a letter from his wife that he can’t force himself to open. He lugs that envelope around while coming apart at the seams in front of relatives (Kathy Bates as his grieving mother-in-law), business associates (Sarah Koskoff) and strangers (Jack Kehler as a model-plane fanatic). Gordy Hoffman, Philip’s brother, has penned a sedated, understated story about bereavement in which director Todd Louiso finds some hope amid the mourning. M.H.