Winter 2006 Main series
Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 7:00pm
Monday, March 6, 2006 at 7:00pm
Rated 14A ·
A Special Presentation at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, Capote features the immensely gifted actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Owning Mahowny), who channels the spirit of Truman Capote in this deeply engaging portrait of the great American writer. Director Bennett Miller’s film focuses on Capote’s research and writing of In Cold Blood, the pioneering non-fiction novel that skyrocketed him to unheralded acclaim—but not without a price.
It is 1959 and Capote is stunned into silence by a newspaper article detailing the brutal murder of the entire Clutter family in rural Kansas. Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr., Traffic) and Richard Hickock (Mark Pellegrino, Mulholland Drive) are arrested for the savage crime; strangers to the family, they killed them all for a few dollars. Capote decides he must write about the case and convinces his close friend Nelle Harper Lee (Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich)—who will soon have To Kill a Mockingbird published—to be his “researcher and bodyguard.” They immediately travel from the literary salons of libertine New York to the dusty farmlands of the culturally backward Midwest.
Capote sincerely sympathizes with the convicted killers. He identifies strongly with Perry, who is soft, sensitive and creative like himself and is dominated by the calculating Richard. But the book that will cement Capote’s reputation, it turns out, is more important than his blooming relationship with a poor, weak young man in a death-row cell.
Hoffman is brilliant as Capote; he superbly captures Capote’s pinched high voice, animated face and ego-decimating wit with fascinating authenticity. Uncovering the fierce inner demons that lie behind his coiffed, carefully-orchestrated persona, Miller and Hoffman vividly evoke a delicate literary legend whose ambitions threaten to transform him into a treacherous scoundrel.