The almost perfectly realized Capote -- stumbling only in the lack of shading it gives Keener's and Greenwood's characters -- offers a sobering glimpse at what the author had to give up of his soul to achieve his success.
I came in expecting Hoffman's tour de force and left with a fuller appreciation of the quiet yet lethal film around him. Lethal, because what it says about the writer's craft, about what often gets destroyed in the name of creation.
The great strength of Miller's film -- aside from Hoffman's brilliant portrayal -- is that it both tells the story behind Capote's masterpiece, the true-crime tale In Cold Blood, and serves as an homage to it.
Capote is a surprisingly effective and satisfying effort. Hoffman's success in the role goes way beyond the rightness of his casting, just as the movie's triumph goes well beyond Hoffman's tour de force performance.
Small-scaled and limited, Capote is nevertheless the most intelligent, detailed, and absorbing film ever made about a writer's working method and character -- in this case, a mixed quiver of strength, guile, malice, and mendacity.
Philip Seymour Hoffman gets it perfect in Capote, with a star turn both meteoric and mesmerizing. This is not an example of a fine actor bringing charisma to a movie. Lock, stock and barrel, he is the movie.
The mesmerizing performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman as the celebrated writer dominates every scene, while director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman's penetrating study enthralls in every aspect.