Reviewed by Humby:

Let me put it this way… I will be surprised if I see a better movie at this year’s Toronto Film Festival than Bennett Miller’s CAPOTE, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is a great film. CAPOTE tells the story of the four years Truman Capote took to write his masterpiece, ‘In Cold Blood’, a true crime novel about the brutal murder of a family in Kansas.

This is a patient film that takes a very good look at a brilliant writer. We discover where he finds his inspiration, how he gets the information he needs to complete his book, and the lengths and manipulations he is will to go through to do so. While Truman is the central character in this film, I loved that the film doesn’t make him all together likeable. He is a flawed human being, but I understood where he was coming from at all times.
While this is a movie with a cast of great actors, I am going to focus on just two. The first is the always amazing Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also serves as the film’s executive producer. I have always been a big fan of Hoffman and don’t think that he has ever delivered a bad performance. This might be his best to date. He is transformed by this role. Capote is a short, extremely flamboyant gay man with a very whiny, high-pitched voice. He was also a brilliant man and a master of manipulation. Hoffman sinks his teeth into this part and makes the most of it.

The other performance I want to talk about is by an actor most people don’t know yet named Clifton Collins Jr. He plays Perry Smith, one of the killers Capote befriends in order to get information to use in his book. Smith is not a dumb man, but he is no match for the intellect of Capote. He is dangerous and severely disturbed and knows how to put on the wounded puppy act, making people believe he could never have hurt a fly. Collins plays him with such vulnerability that you actually begin to care for this man, even though you know what he has done. You, like Capote, want to understand why.

This is a bold movie that I really hope finds an audience. If it does, look for a number of academy award nominations from this one.


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