In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
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Famed writer Truman Capote, southern born and bred but now part of the New York City social circle, is growing weary of his current assignment of writing autobiographical type pieces for the New Yorker. After reading a newspaper article about the just occurred November 14, 1959 cold blooded murders of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home, Truman feels compelled to write about that event as his next article. So he and his personal assistant Nelle Harper Lee, also a southern born New Yorker and an aspiring writer of her own, head to Kansas to research the story first-hand. Truman hopes to use his celebrity status to gain access to whomever he needs, such as to Laura Kinney, a friend of the Clutter daughter she who discovered the bodies, and to Alvin Dewey, the lead police investigator and also a Clutter family friend. If his celebrity doesn't work, Truman will grease the wheels by whatever means necessary. When the police eventually charge suspects, two young men named Dick ... Written by
2 Capote, or NOT 2 Capote???, That Is The Question...
CAPOTE, first of all, is a well written film by the talented Dan Futterman, whose performance in URBANIA we will always remember, and for Philip Seymour Hoffman, this is his "Golden Globe and Oscar Award" all in one. From the first scene, Hoffman creates the essence of the acid tongued, tremendously talented, yet damaged, Truman Capote.
Having read IN COLD BLOOD when it first came out, CAPOTE really captures on the screen the horror of what took place on that Kansas farm and the cinematography, costumes and locations are wonderful to behold. Miss Keener's performance is such a subtle and intelligent contrast to the hysteria of Capote, and his perfect foil.
In the scenes with Perry Smith, they are haunting and disturbing, as if it feels like two cobras are circling one another, waiting for the first one to strike. And in this context, I ask, "2 Capote, or NOT 2 Capote?, that is the question", because both are on the take-Smith to use Capote for obtaining a pardon, Capote, to nail the story that will gain him the adulation he so adores. And then, Capote slides downhill, while Perry rots in prison.
CAPOTE captures the essence of the 1950's, the horror of a brutal killing in the vast farmlands of Kansas, and delivers a knock out performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman. If only IN COLD BLOOD had not seemed like a manipulation by a writer out for glory at the expense of a prisoner who believed in him.
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