Director: Bennett Miller
I think I’m starting to like this trend. Since Ray it seems we’ve had an explosion of documentary films showcasing the lifestyles of the famous and dead. I think the trick to these things is going in not knowing anything about the people. Probably because it’s always more fascinating when you’re learning something new. So it was with blank canvas I took in the latest docu-ography about Truman Capote.
Now, having seen the film I know he was a brilliant, alcoholic, fa-laming flamboyant writer with a photographic memory. This particular film chose to focus on his life during his research for his best known work ‘In Cold Blood’. It’s 1959 and Capote, writing for the New Yorker, decided to follow the grizzly murder of an upstanding small town family. Once digging he finds enough material for what he believes will be his greatest work. This involves having a nutty manipulative relationship with one of the murderers, Perry Smith. Starting off there appears to be a common bond but soon Capote is in a pickle from him helping their case while at the same time needing the closure that only an execution can bring.
As for Hoffman’s portrayal of the legend… There are some names you can simply trust when looking for film that will make you go woah. Philip Seymour Hoffman is just such a name and he doesn’t disappoint with a haunting portrayal of a character intensely over the top in mannerisms and self involvement.