"I have a
title for my book"
Intrigued by the
senseless killing of a family in Holcomb, Kansas 1959, writer Truman Capote
(Hoffman) decides to base his next article for the New Yorker on the repercussions
of the terrible crime. As he and friend Harper Lee (Keener) investigate,
the perpetrators are captured and on meeting Perry Smith (Collins Jr.) and
Richard Hickock (Pellegrino) Truman realises that he has the chance to get
into the mind of a killer. His article turns into the most important novel
he has ever written, the first non-fiction book called 'In Cold Blood'.
Truman Capote was
one of America's most renowned writers in their history but the man himself
is just as fascinating as anything he wrote about.
Famed for his writing
of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', Truman Capote was the darling of New York society,
a self proclaimed genius and the man who single-handedly changed the way
novels are written. Between 1959 and 1965 he changed however as he happened
upon a story that would change his life forever. This was a story that would
become his obsession and would be the pivotal event in his career and his
The brutal killing
of Clutter family by Perry Smith and Richard Hickock shocked the state and
then the nation as the revelations about the case come to bear. This also
intrigued Truman. At first he saw it as a human reaction story, heading
to Holcomb to gage the community's reaction to the killings for an article
for the New Yorker but when Smith and Hickock were arrested, his approach
changed. He saw the chance to create a new kind of book, the non-fiction
novel and over five years he got into the mind of Perry Smith, the mind
of a killer.
The film deals with
Capote's methods of getting the story. His research and conversations with
Perry Smith, shows a side of journalism and writing that was all about the
story. Capote's approach was filled with broken promises and lies with Smith
and Hickock thinking he was their friend. As the years progressed however,
this changed and a bond formed between the writers and killers but the book
was always the most important thing in Truman's life.
There are some roles
that actors are born to play and for Phillip Seymour Hoffman that part is
Truman Capote. Already an accomplished and acclaimed actor, Hoffman is one
of the best artists of his generation. Looking and sounding uncannily like
the famed author, it is like Hoffman is channelling Capote. His performance
is remarkable as he captures all the mannerisms and demeanour of the man
that was such a larger than life character and a truly remarkable writer.
tour-de-force is an excellent ensemble. Catherine Keener has always been
a superb actress and as Harper Lee, Truman's friend, confidant and the writer
of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Chris Copper is as good as ever as Holcomb's
chief of police Alvin Dewey. It is the breakout performance of Clifton Collins
Jr. that captures as much attention as Phillip Seymour Hoffman. As Perry
Smith, he creates a character that finally shows his true talents after
years as a supporting or bit-part player in many films.
'Capote' shows how
far journalists and writers will go for a story and how it can consume their
lives. Truman Capote is a fascinating character but not all that likeable.
Even though he is using convicted killers for his story, you cannot help
be deplore his approach, even though it is a reality of the business. This
aside, the truth behind 'In Cold Blood' is an enthralling one and Truman
Capote is one of the greatest writers of the modern era, making him an absorbing
subject for a movie.
The Blu-Ray disc
presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 1:85 up to 1080p, with
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound, highlighting the excellent cinematography.
with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and director Bennett Miller
The man at the helm and his Oscar winning star provide an interesting, if
what slow commentary for 'Capote'. The pair reveals how they decided to
pace the movie and their approach to the character. With behind the scenes
stories about casting, filming and the locations, this is a chatty and informative
commentary from the pair.
with director Bennett Miller and cinematographer Adam Kimmel
In a more technical commentary track, the director and his cameraman reveal
how the film was conceived and the look of the movie. Commenting on editing
and the structure of the film, the pair also talk about Phillip Seymour
Hoffman's performance and his approach to the character.
Director Bennett Miller, screenwriter Dan Futterman, director of photography
Adam Kimmel, production designer Jess Gonchor, editor Christopher Tellefsen,
producers Caroline Baron and William Vince, biographer Gerald Clarke and
stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Cooper, Clifton Collins Jr. and Catherine
Keener take you through the making of 'Capote'. Split into three parts entitled
'Answered Prayers' and 'Making Capote Parts 1 & 2', the featurettes give
you an insight into the life of the real Truman Capote, writing the script
and the preparation for the movie. We then go behind the scenes of the making
of the movie, looking at the key characters in the film and defining the
look and feel of the feature.
Place the Blu-Ray disc into an Internet enabled player or PS3 and you can
gain access to extra features online.
With two commentary
tracks and featurettes that cover most aspects of the film's production,
the Blu-Ray package for 'Capote' is good. Fans of the film and the man will
be pleased with this package.