Anthony's Film Review

Capote (2005)

Capote is a touching true story that shines with Philip Seymour Hoffman's memorable performance...

Truman Capote lived as one of America's notable writers, best known for the classic stories Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood. He is the subject of the 2005 film Capote. It is not the story of his entire life from birth to death. Instead, it covers the years spent researching In Cold Blood, a work of nonfiction. Why this specific focus? Probably because Capote's life has multiple dimensions, and a full life story may end up being seen as separate stories lined up one after the other. So it's probably a wise move for the movie to cover one part of the man's life.

The first striking thing about this film is the star. Philip Seymour Hoffman fully embodies the persona of Truman Capote the moment he first appears on screen. If you don't believe me, just compare a photo of the real-life Capote with Hoffman's Capote from the movie poster. They are that similar. Then watch Hoffman flawlessly and consistently speak in a voice different from his own. This is an example of what true acting is about: transforming into a role.

Capote's research for In Cold Blood begins when he finds an article in The New York Times about a murder in a Kansas farmhouse. It's an intriguing story, enough for Capote to make contacts with people close to the case. The author, alongside his good friend Nelle Harper Lee (the future author of To Kill a Mockingbird, played by Catherine Keener), also interviews people who knew the victims and attends the murder trial. With his own eyes and ears, Capote learns the fate of the two accused killers: the death penalty.

But something unexpected happens. Capote really gets close to the matter. He visits one of the two killers named Perry Smith in his jail cell. While the author is gaining additional insight into the case for his book, he is also helping the killer. Capote feels sorrow for the man, who is nothing more than a person with an unfortunate life. Even though Capote might not be able to change the outcome, at least he could be the killer's one and only friend in the final days.

That's really the essence of this film: friendship. It is nice to watch scenes related to the release of In Cold Blood, but that's only secondary to the companionship that two men share regardless of who they are. It's quite a touching human story. This film certainly gives you something to take away. And if you're a fan of Truman Capote who wants to understand the origin of In Cold Blood, the film can definitely satisfy your curiosity.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Capote, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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