The Movie Buffer

Wednesday, February 01, 2006



Keep hands and feet inside the car or spoilers will likely occur


***writers note: This review is very late because I haven’t been feeling very well. I’m very sorry for the long wait for a new post but thank you for still showing up.***

Truman Capote is not a man that I knew very much about going into this film. The trailers for this film intrigued me though, it looked like a murder mystery. But upon further inspection I came to learn that this was almost a documentary of how Capote wrote his most famous non-fiction novel “In Cold Blood”. Capote effectively created a new genre of writing non-fiction by incorporating the style, the tone and imagery of fiction into his novel. Capote was important in American culture not only for his literary impact, which include the aforementioned novel and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but about his pro-homosexual stand, he himself was gay and I was surprised to learn that he was the template of what we would think of the stereotypical homosexual: The lispy high pitched voice, the rich tastes, the holier than thou attitude. The fact that he is gay is briefly mentioned several times but they skirt around the topic, probably to avoid the pitfalls of taking a hard stand on the topic. That was the man, this is the movie.

The director of this film, Bennett Miller, is a sophomore director and he has shown that he can handle the heavy material of this movie. The movie revolves around the story of two murderers in a small town in Kansas. After reading about the murders in the newspaper, Capote and his childhood friend and author, Harper Lee, head down to Kansas to write about the events. This project would finally become “In Cold Blood”. The cinematography of this movie is sedated which is great because the story is so poignant that anything more would have cluttered the film. The atmosphere is perfect, though we know how the story is going to end we do eventually relate to the criminal’s and Capote’s situation.

The acting in the film is nearly flawless. Philip Seymour Hoffman does a good job of impersonating Capote. The problem with Hoffman was I could not totally buy him as Capote, I kept seeing features from other characters that he has embodied in previous movies especially when he removes his glasses and mopes around. Otherwise, an excellent portrayal of the man. The secondary cast is very strong with Clifton Collins Jr. playing Perry Smith, one of the murderers, Chris Cooper(American Beauty, Jarhead), playing the chief investigator of the murders, Bruce Greenwood (Rules of Engagement, I, robot) plays Jack Dunphy, play-write and partner of Capote, and Catherine Keener (40 year old Virgin, S1m0ne) plays Harper Lee. All of the secondary characters are three dimensional, they have character, they seem to live and breathe like the protagonist.

This movie is an almost perfect 8/10 or 4 out of 5 stars. I would say that it was one of the top three movies of 2005. I can’t say much more about the film without ruining the some major parts of it but if you have a chance to see it, go for it( those of you who live in Kingston, it’s at the Screening Room until Thursday this week). This movie is a very interesting character study of a man that was very controversial in his day and how his writing affected American culture.

Awesome directing
wonderful acting
Even though you know whats going to happen you never lose interest

Hoffman's unique style comes through in the character
They use the "Deus Ex Machina" ending( text comes up to describe what happens next) which is annoying


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