Capote 2005 Movie Review

October 10, 2014 Whitney movie review 0 Comments

Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: Dan Futterman (screenplay), Gerald Clarke (book)
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
Release Date: February 3, 2006

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

One of my favorite books is Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, so when a movie was made on Truman Capote’s reporting of the Clutter murders, it was only natural that I would be looking forward to it.

Hollywood has been known to blow nudity and violence out of proportion in movies so I was nervous that they would make the murder scenes too graphic.  Despite the brutality of the murders the sights where very minimal, a staging of Nancy was shown and a brief look during the confession.  I also like that actual photos of the Clutters were Incorporated (alive and crime scene) Alvin Dewey the lead KBI agent and even Truman Capote.  Anyway, I appreciated these small touches.

Away from the true crime factor I thought the muted colors of cinematography and costumes was appropriate and set the tone for the film, serious colors for a serious theme.  Even though Truman Capote was flamboyant, I think adding bright colors to his wardrobe would have ruined the design of the film, with outlandish clothing drawing attention away from the subject matter.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman was dead on with his portrayal of Truman Capote and if he had been a few inches shorter would have been a dead ringer. His hand gestures, mannerisms and dress set him apart from the crowd.  There is a scene in which he turns around to show off a new coat and another proclaiming his scarf was “Bergdof” truly setting off his character, but this also made him oblivious to other’s reception of him or a consideration to others.

This is where Nelle Harper Lee steps in (played by Catherine Keener) she has the soft touch and by relating to the town members is able to get Truman Capote “in” (although it also helps that Mrs. Dewey has read fiction)  Anyway, I felt Keener did a wonderful job of keeping Truman in line and being light-hearted at the same time.
On a side note, I liked that they Incorporated the publishing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” in the film.

 


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