Capote

Rating:

Hoffman Channels Capote to an Oscar

Main Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins, Catherine Keener, Michael J. Burg

Director: Bennett Miller

Plot Summary: The murder of a family in Kansas gains the interest of Truman Capote, who investigates for the writing of a new book, and befriends one of the killers.

A quiet, introspective film, it focuses on the man that was Truman Capote. A complex character, he basked in the attention of others and, rightly or wrongly, felt the world revolved around him. Certainly his friends and colleagues hung on his every word and action, according to this movie. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the part to perfection, with all the quirks and fearsome intelligence intact.

Capote reads about a gruesome murder of a family in Kansas. He goes out there with his friend Nell (Keener) and noses around, trying to find out exactly what happened. He does manage to find the young friend of the murdered girl, and gets into the good graces of the sheriff. This proves to be the open door he needs later, when the two culprits are caught. Capote questions one of them, Perry (Collins Jr.), and manages to befriend him.

Capote isn’t exactly truthful to the other man. He uses him to get his book written, although there may be some connection between them because of their similar childhoods. Perhaps Capote sees in the other man something that could have been, if he were of a different personality.

While there are flashbacks of the murders at the end, this is a drama and/or biography-lite, take your pick. It certainly gives you a glimpse into the character of Capote, and I would think that true connoisseurs of his work would appreciate the characterization. I think the movie was skillfully done, directed, and acted. The feel of the time and place was very much conveyed.

I can recommend this as a good, solid drama and character analysis. Mr. Hoffman does an excellent job in the title role.

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