Sunday 14 May 2006

Capote (2005) - ickleReview (cinema)

Biopic about six years in the life of American writer Truman Capote that made him and broke him. In 1959 a family of four is murdered in their rural Kansas home. Capote (masterfully embodied by Philip Seymour Hoffman) leaves New York to cover the story for the New Yorker magazine. He ingratiates himself with the local police detective, Alvin Dewey (Chris Cooper), but only with the more personable help of his writer friend, Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), author of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is published during the course of the movie, winning her fame and a film deal. Capote befriends the two accused and convicted men, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.) and Dick Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) - preying especially on Smith until he eventually tells him in graphic detail what happened that night on 14 November 1959. Capote is camp and sophisticated with a 94% capacity for recall. He ruthlessly turns the killers' story into a "non-fiction novel", which he entitles In Cold Blood, reflecting not only the nature of the murders but the callous exploitation of them in his egoistic writing project. Hoffman is brilliantly detestable, yet somehow manages to illicit tiny grains of sympathy. One never really knows what he is thinking. This is very much a portrait from the outside.

Nugget: not as good as I was led to believe it was. Hoffman is impressive: not doing his usual smarmy perv act and totally changing his voice into a squeaky falsetto. A solid piece of Hollywoodeness.

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