Alternate Title: In Cold Blood
Based on true events, Capote follows Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) as he writes his novel In Cold Blood. The novel became one of the first ever true crime books and sparked a new kind of non-fiction writing. However, it did so at great personal cost to its writer.
Truman Capote was a well-known, charismatic man with a flair for telling stories. He was close friends with Nelle Harper Lee (shortened to Harper Lee, the writer of To Kill a Mockingbird and portrayed in the film by Catherine Keener). The center of attention at many parties, Capote loved an audience. In writing his true crime novel, he was forced to get close to two killers. He gets much closer to one, Perry (Clifton Collins Jr.), than to the other. As Capote gets close to Perry, it becomes clear how alike they are; both are wounded; both are observant; and both are master manipulators.
It’s easy to see how Truman Capote was both extremely likeable and incredibly selfish at the same time. Like Perry, Capote gives the idea that there is a close relationship happening when in fact, between himself and everyone else, there will always be a great deal of distance.
Slow and steady in its approach, Capote paints a dark picture of an artist depersonalizing other men for the sake of his work and completely losing himself along the way.
Now it’s Your Turn…
Capote was nominated for Best Picture in 2005, but did the Academy get it right?