Bolstered by an Oscar-caliber performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the title role, Capote
ranked highly among the best films of 2005. Written by actor/screenwriter Dan Futterman and based on selected chapters from the biography by Gerald Clarke, this mercilessly perceptive drama shows how Truman Capote brought about his own self-destruction in the course of writing In Cold Blood
, the "nonfiction novel" that was immediately acclaimed as a literary milestone. After learning of brutal killings in rural Holcomb, Kansas, in November 1959, Capote gained the confidence of captured killers Perry Smith (Clifton Collins, Jr.) and Dick Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) in an effort to tell their story, but he ultimately sacrificed his soul in the process of writing his greatest book. Hoffman transcends mere mimicry to create an utterly authentic, psychologically tormented portrait of an insincere artist who was not above lying and manipulation to get what he needed. Bennett Miller's intimate direction focuses on the consequences of Capote's literary ambition, tempered by an equally fine performance by Catherine Keener as Harper Lee, Capote's friend and the author of To Kill a Mockingbird
, who served as Capote's quiet voice of conscience. Spanning the seven-year period between the Kansas murders and the publication of In Cold Blood
in 1966, Capote
reveals the many faces of a writer who grew too close to his subjects, losing his moral compass as they were fitted with a hangman's noose. --Jeff Shannon
Stills from Capote (click for larger image)
In November, 1959, the shocking murder of a smalltown Kansas family captures the imagination of Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman), famed author of Breakfast at Tiffany's. With his childhood friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), writer of the soon-to-be published To Kill a Mockingbird, Capote sets out to investigate, winning over the locals despite his flamboyant appearance and style. When he forms a bond with the killers and their execution date nears, the writing of "In Cold Blood," a book that will change the course of American literature, takes a drastic toll on Capote, changing him in ways he never imagined. Stellar performances from Hoffman and Keener, as well as Academy Award� winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation) are why critics are calling Capote a "must-see movie."