Capote - Capote Delivers
| I read In Cold Blood for a university course and would probably not have picked it up otherwise. There is something about the True Crime genre that bugs me; itís voyeuristic in the most nasty way. Therefore I didnít feel that I would enjoy the novel that is widely credited for inventing the genre. I was wrong. In Cold Blood is a powerful and riveting work of non-fiction.
In Cold Blood was written by Truman Capote after he visited the scene of a horrible crime, the murder of an entire family in a small, prairie town. He interviewed the people of the town as well as the killers themselves, eventually developing an intense friendship with one of them.
Capote, the film, is the story of how this book was written. Having been disturbed and moved by the novel, I was curious to hear the story behind it. I am still not interested in the murder or the gruesome details. Itís the human details, the effect a crime like this has on those around it and those who commit it.
Capote works because it doesnít hang on the gruesome details and instead examines who these people were. Even more so, it works because it examines who the person under the mask of Truman Capote was.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who rarely missteps, gives one of those great tour de force performances. Like Kate Blanchett recently in The Aviator, Hoffman gets beyond simply imitation to create a real person under the caricature that was Truman Capote, one of the last centuryís greatest writers.
By focusing on his experience of writing this one novel, Capote creates a fairly complete portrait of the entire person of Truman, a man who I imagined to be nothing more than a caricature of himself back when I saw him as a child. This film opens up the humanity of the man as well as the humanity of people who have killed.
Capote is also a visually striking film. With the simplicity of its images, Capote manages to be beautiful to watch.
Strong characters and beautiful imagery are the kinds of things I look for in a movie and Capote delivers.