CAPOTE directed by Bennett Miller is a triumph

Review by Bettina Cirone

 

Phillip Seymour Hoffman gave a stunning and chilling, even flattering, portrayal of a deceptive, somewhat devious and conflicted Truman Capote whom I knew with all his mannerisms, body posture, timorous teeny voice and Southern accent despite the disadvantage of Hoffman not bearing any physical resemblance to the late author of In Cold Blood. Hoffman revived his very soul. The film only tells of the four year period in Truman Capote’s life when he learned of the murders of an entire family in Kansas, until the execution of their murderers. The story dwells mainly on the interactions with Capote, the Kansas Bureau of Investigations Agent, Alvin Dewey. Jr. played by 2003 Academy Awardees Chris Cooper, Ellen Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird played by Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener and one of the two killers, a grammar school dropout yet fairly intelligent if naive, sensitive and talented portrait artist and guitar player, Perry Smith played sympathetically by Clifton Collins, Jr. Although Capote garnered tremendous accolades and monetary rewards amounting to $2 million dollars as a result of this book, he died soon afterwards of alcohol related causes at the age of 59, never to write another book.

The film debuted at the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall this Fall.

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