Original rating: 11-4-2014 (8/10).
Whilst the real events are fascinating, they are nothing here without a great screenplay and 'Capote' delivers on that front. Not only is the tone of the film perfect, with its quiet nature and haunting undertones, but every character is brought to life in a believable and engaging way. Whilst Hoffman's performance will likely be this film's biggest selling-point, it's only one part of what this fabulous work offers.
( :( sad that he is gone ) but a very honorable mention to the the actor who played the killer Perry Smith, he was absolutely perfect and like the rest of the film his character was not over sold or over sensationalized, the depth of character and raw emotion was palpable. Capote is a film that cannot be missed, I can't wait to give it a a second viewing. The film also made me want to revisit the film "Dead Man Walking"
Truman Capote himself (1924-1984), by comparison, was also a victim of his own inner demons. A literary genius, he published his first acclaimed work, the short story "Miriam," at the age of 21; he went on to write classic novels such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood," maintaining a close relationship with the glitz of Hollywood in the process. He was a great storyteller, a great party guest, and an even greater of a personality - I recall Lauren Bacall detailing just how fascinating of a figure he was in her memoir, how much Bogie adored spending time with him. His girlish voice, homosexual flamboyance, and immense self-interest was forgivable in a conservative time period because he was so much larger-than-life than everyone around him.
2005's "Capote" is a tremendously adept biopic that takes place during the tumultuous years in which the author was writing the seminal "In Cold Blood," a true crime novel that told the story of a pair of murderers who heinously massacred a family in rural Kansas. What began as a New York Times article interested in analyzing the effects the murders had on the small town turned into something greater as Capote found himself increasingly compelled to tell a larger tale, eventually becoming so close with the criminals themselves that he even began to fall in love with one of them (Clifton Collins Jr.).
At the heart of the film is Capote's captivating relationships with "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), his romantic partner, Jack Dunphy (Bruce Greenwood), his editor (Bob Balaban), and one of the murderers, Perry Smith, and the toll the writing of the novel took on his personal life.
While many biopics are so bent on their central portrayal that they forget to make an affecting film, "Capote," finely directed by Bennett Miller, is so uniformly excellent because it is surrounded by performances that widen the crevasse "In Cold Blood" dug up during its conception. Involved individuals such as Lee and Smith are crucial - Lee represents Capote's life before the book, grounded and intellectual, Smith acting as the detour to his more disturbed self, his writing talents coming second to an eclair of self-doubt and a piling of regret.
Capote's tug-of-war of emotions is best shown during and after scenes of him entertaining party guests. With his constant cravings for attention, he is the best partygoer you'll ever meet, telling one unbelievable story after the next. But soon after you meet a man who appears to consist only of confidence edged genetics, there is a crash, a moment when he has to confront the person he has become. His love for Smith is the peak of his psychological battle. He doesn't want to be in love with a murderer, but he can't help it. He hates himself for it. He knows the only way he'll stumble across some sort of closure will be the execution of "In Cold Blood"'s central figures. It was the last novel he ever published.
As Capote, Hoffman is endlessly brilliant. Watch any interview from the writer and you'll see an original, an eccentric no one in the world could possible emulate. To play him would risk caricaturization. But Hoffman, so detail oriented and nuanced, becomes the man. Never does his recognizable deep, fatherly voice slip out, his oft prominent mouth-breathing - he is Capote, through and through. Even if the film were the kind to pay too much attention to its leading actor, we still would be mesmerized. It's a wonder that it feels so full, so true.