Capote (2005) (R)

Truman Capote is one of America's most celebrated authors. He authored the famous novella "Breakfast of Tiffany's" which turned into one of the most acclaimed romantic films starring Audrey Hepburn. But although he is one of our more famous, quirky, recent authors, his private life was very dark. He was a man who seemed to enjoy making other people happy while falling apart on the inside. "Capote" gives us the author's last completed venture in writing.
In Cold Blood is a book about the killing of a Kansas family. It was a quite morning in a little town when the world crumbled around the people. An unmotivated act of violence that seemed like a mystery. Truman Capote decides that he wants to write about this crime. He sets out to Kansas with his best friend Harper Lee, best known for her work To Kill a Mockingbird.
What he finds are the oddities and depressiveness of a community that has just lost one of their own. There is a detective who just wants the murders solved and the family of the deceased, it's just his job and he wants it done. To Truman it's more of a fanciful affair—something to write about. Truman Capote wades through all of these people trying to find out how he can write a book about it.
When the murderers are caught, Truman has a connection with one of them and decides that he wants his book to empathize with the killers. One problem, they won't tell him what happened the night the family died.
Truman Capote descends into madness. He tries to manipulate it out of them and bride it out of them but they won't say anything. He does his best and still to no avail. He comes to grips with the fact that his book is going nowhere fast and he can't do anything about it. Sent into a tailspin by the effect the killers have on him he can't function normally. He becomes vacantly catatonic. So powerful are the emotions that he's experiencing that he can't celebrate when his friend's book becomes a success.
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Capote, not exactly an obvious choice for the role. Hoffman is big and bulky while Capote was small and feminine. But Hoffman becomes Capote like no other person could have. You are convinced from the get-go that the actual author is playing himself. It's one of the best acting roles ever put to screen.
The movie itself is somewhat depressing. Long shots of the prairie are used to convey the forlornness of the tale. It can be a little trying, the subject matter is so stylized that is almost looses all its tension.
But I enjoyed the movie for what it was, the sad months of the last book that Truman Capote would ever finish.

Score: 3 out of 4 stars

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