U.S. Theatrical Release Date: September 30, 2005
U.S. DVD Release Date: March 21, 2006
This story focuses on a half-decade period in the life of critically acclaimed author Truman Capote.
'The' story begins however in November, 1959 with the brutal and senseless slayings of the 'Clutters', a family of four in the small rural town of Holcomb, Kansas.
The overtly flamboyant Capote (Phillip Seymour Hoffman ~ 'Cold Mountain'
) is already renowned in the east coast literary circles for his numerous short stories, and his most recent success, the collection 'Breakfast at Tiffany's:A Short Novel and Three Stories'. One day he notices a small article in one of the New York newspapers. The clipping briefly details the murders of the Kansas family.
Truman decides that this subject is one that he would like to write about. Capote convinces the editor of 'The New Yorker' magazine, William Shawn (Bob Balaban ~ 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
) to send him to Holcomb and see if there is any kind of 'real story' there.
Realizing that Truman, with his unabashedly gay demeanor, high-pitched voice,lisping and with a southern drawl, and unique sense of fashion, will not be a good fit with rural America. In fact, it would be akin to their 'first contact' with an alien race. Shawn elects to send Capote's longtime childhood friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener ~ 'The 40 Year Old Virgin'
) along to act as 'research assistant'. More than this, however, she's to act as a liason and a buffer between these uncomplicated people of the plains and the shock value that is Capote.
The unlikely duo begin to show up at press conferences held by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in regards to the slayings. Sheriff Alvin Dewey (Chris Cooper ~ 'Jarhead'
) is heading the investigation, and quickly begins to see Truman for the conniving little newsman that he is.
The two suspects Perry Smith (Clifton Collins,Jr. ~ 'Traffic'
) and Richard Hickock (Mark Pelligrino ~ 'National Treasure'
) are soon apprehended and returned to Kansas to stand trial.
Meanwhile, the wives of Holcomb are more than pleased to host dinner parties in order to show off the 'east coast glitterati' that are now in their communities' presence. (In just a few short months', Lee's novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' will win the 'Pulitzer Prize and eventually be made into an Oscar-winning film).
Smith and Hickock are convicted and Truman begins to discern that this story would be much better served as a novel than as a story for a magazine. It is also at this point that Capote understands that he is on the verge of creating an entirely new style of writing. The 'Non-Fiction' novel, whwhich will eventually become his crowning achievement 'In Cold Blood', perhaps one of the greatest works of American literature of the 20th century.
Capote charms (and bribes) his way into unlimited access to the murderous pair and gains their trust, through the promise of continued legal support and the appeals process, as well as gaining the trust of the authorities and the people of Holcomb (from whom He garners the 'minutae' that will make his tome so compelling).
He also becomes aware that although he has his story, there can be no finale unless the two killers are executed.
The years wear on and the creative process takes it's toll. Not only on himself, but on the relationship with his longtime (but not exclusive) lover (Bruce Greenwood). Capote slips deeper into alcoholism and becomes consumed with jealousy, fueled by Harper Lee's new found success. That, and the endless stays of execution get him no closer to concluding his novel, a conclusion that he now expects.
In the end, it's a simple and cold decision for Capote to choose between his continued false loyalty to these varied characters and his love for what has become his driving force, his novel.
The DVD is presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format. English 5.1 Dolby Digital and French Surround Sound. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Bahasa.
'Special Features' include...
~ '2 Behind the Scenes Documentaries'
~ '"Answered Prayers" - A Documentary on Truman Capote'
~ 'Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Director Bennett Miller Commentary'
~ 'Director Bennett Miller and Cinematographer Adam Kimmel Commentary'
Deliberately quiet yet riveting, with sterling performances by all involved. And one impressive debut by director Bennett Miller. With an uncanny performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, this presentation held and revealed much more than this reviewer ever expected going into this story.
I must confess that I've never read the novel, but I am more than compelled to go to my local book-monger and find a tattered paperback copy of this towering piece of American literature.
RATING: 4 1/2 'veiled promises' out of 5
TITLE: Capote (2005) ~ STUDIO: United Artists ~ MPAA RATING: R (for some violent images and brief strong language) ~ RUNNING TIME: 114 Minutes ~ STARRING: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Jr., Bruce Greewood, Bob Balaban, Mark Pelligrino, Chris Cooper ~ DIRECTED BY: Bennett Miller
The opinions expressed therein are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of 'jonja.net' nor it's owner
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