Plot Summary: The toast of New York City society after penning “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” flamboyant writer Truman Capote finds himself in a dance with the devil while researching the Clutter family murders for his masterwork, “In Cold Blood.”
Director: Bennett Miller
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Bob Balaban
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) This film is Oscar bait. You may marvel at Hoffman’s range in playing a high-pitched, effeminate, whiny, selfish prick who follows around a couple of murderers to lay the groundwork for the boom of tragedy porn culminating in the next century’s Casey Anthony trial (for a keen take on that trial as a tragedy porn poster child–no pun intended–check out Episode 8 of The Newsroom). Undoubtedly, Hoffman played the hell out of the role. He masterfully presented a talented, visionary writer with a need to make his mark, perhaps driven by a need for redemption from his traumatic childhood, who encounters in these young killers the other ending of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for kids like him…and who is fascinated, obsessed, and consumed by this Bizarro version of himself. Unfortunately, that’s about as interesting as the story gets on the Capote side. I would have rather read that in a footnote than watched a whole movie about this man. If you want to see a good movie about the murderers themselves, including what drove them to commit the acts, and what followed, watch In Cold Blood, based on Capote’s actual book. rather than a movie about the man’s writing of a good book. There are a couple of very good scenes by the end, and Collins’s performance is terrific, but again, they are all scenes that were also well done in In Cold Blood. I would rather have seen a remake of that than sit through this plodding trip on the meta bandwagon.