A new film called "Capote" is showing in American movie theaters. The film explores the complex personality of the celebrated American author, Truman Capote. It also explains how Capote came to write his landmark, non-fiction novel "In Cold Blood." Penelope Poulou has a review.
NAT SOUND: "Have you read the article about the killings in Kansas? I think that's what I want to write about."
Before the gruesome killings of a rural Kansas family in 1959, one would hardly think that Truman Capote, the darling of New York's literary salons, would be interested in writing a non-fiction account of a gory crime story. But, Capote believes the story has the makings of a classic tale of the
heartland and goes to Kansas to learn more. His flamboyant clothes, effeminate mannerisms and sarcastic attitude do not win him any friends there.
MOVIE CLIP -- Conversation with the D.A
CAPOTE: "We're not looking for any inside information. I don't care if you catch whoever did this."
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: "I care."
The killers are caught and Capote talks his way into their cells, and into their lives.
MOVIE CLIP -- In the Cell
CAPOTE: "If I'm going to write about you, if I'm going to determine how to write about you, we need to talk about why you're here and the murders…that night… at the Clutter house."
The movie's director Bennett Miller says, the film depicts Capote as manipulative, insecure and tormented.
MOVIE DIRECTOR, BENNETT MILLER
"This is a very public figure, Truman Capote, who also has a very, very private inner sanctum. And that what this film is about: peeling back those layers to the heart of darkness."
The movie also reveals Capote's humble beginnings, his abused childhood and his complex relationship with Perry Smith, the younger of the two killers.
MOVIE CLIP - CAPOTE AND NELL HARPER LEE TALKING
HARPER LEED: "Did you fall in love with him?"
CAPOTE: "It's as if Perry and I grew up in the same house. And one day he stood up and went the back door while I went out the front."
Director Miller explains how actor Philip Seymour Hoffman immerses himself in Capote's character.
BENNETT MILLER, MOVIE DIRECTOR
"There is no other actor like him, I think. He is really an inside out actor. He doesn't put it on as much as he lets it out."
The rest of the cast is also brilliant. Chris Cooper has a short but forceful role as District Attorney Alvin Dewey. Catherine Keener interprets famous author and Capote's close friend, Nell Harper Lee, whose composure balances Capote's emotional fragility. The movie is already hailed as one of
this year's Oscar contenders.
"I, frankly, I don't see what the fuss is all about.