A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Capote

October 23, 2011

Capote

I have a problem with the Oscars. My problem is that I know the academy voters tend to self absorbed, and full of themselves and tend to snobbishly vote for what is the most impactful movie and not necessarily the most entertaining or the most ambitious. And yet I can’t help being curious about any movie that takes home the big prizes. That curiosity has in the past led me to purchase movies I would not normally purchase.

I knew virtually nothing about Truman Capote before buying this movie. I’ve never read any of his books. (The closes I’ve come is to have seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s which is based on his book.) I’m only really familiar with him as a part of the pretentious New York art scene of the sixties. I knew this movie was about him writing a book about a brutal set of murders and the pair of killers who committed them, but I knew nothing about the book. All I knew for sure was that Philip Seymour Hoffman, an actor I respect for taking difficult roles and transforming himself with every film, had won the best actor award for this film and that was enough to make me pick it up for our collection.

This really is Hoffman’s film. It’s not a movie that’s in any hurry to reach its conclusion. It’s a slow, deliberate character study about a strange and complicated man. The Truman Capote in this movie is completely obsessed with himself and has surrounded himself with people who know how to feed that ego. One day he decides to do an article for the New Yorker about a brutal and vicious crime he read about in the paper (though this movie doesn’t really explore why.) The result is that he leaves the comforting confines of his circle of intellectual literati and travels down to Kansas to see firsthand how this killing is affecting people in the small town where it took place. As he investigates he finds himself entwined with one of the killers, convinced that Perry Smith is a kindred spirit of some kind. His article becomes a full book, and he discovers that he cannot complete the book unless he can understand what was going through Perry’s mind when the murders were done.

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October 23, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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