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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Capote

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Judy Thorburn

Capote

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

"CAPOTE” – A COMPELLING CHAPTER IN THE AUTHOR’S LIFE

Last year Jamie Foxx’s career soared to new heights with his Academy Award winning performance of legendary music genius Ray Charles. This year another actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has continually proven his acting prowess in supporting roles, makes an astounding mark playing another unlikable, real life genius, though this time from the literary world, Truman Capote, in the newly released film about the man.  Like Foxx, Hoffman is sure to garner an Academy award nomination, if not take home the prized Oscar for his portrayal. And like Foxx did with Ray, Hoffman in his role does an uncanny job of disappearing beneath the skin and capturing the real life persona of a psychologically tortured man down to his distinct speech pattern, physical gestures and quirky mannerisms. It is a standout performance and a breakout role for Hoffman that should finally capture the attention he so richly deserves.

Capote isn’t actually a biography since the story revolves around the people and events involved during the five years Truman Capote researched his most famous work “In Cold Blood”, the best seller that changed the face of journalism and subsequently was made into Richard Brook’s 1967 film, starring Robert Blake.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Capote, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Chris Cooper, Bob Balaban, Bruce Greenwood, Amy Ryan, Mark Pellegrino, Dan Futterman, Bennett Miller, Michael Ohoven, William Vance

In 1959 the real life gruesome murders of a family of four in a Kansas farmhouse was what captured the attention of Truman Capote. He became so enthralled by the who and why behind these senseless killings that he felt compelled to dig deeper into what he called the “underbelly of American violence” and turn what was originally to be a feature story for the New Yorker magazine, into a full length non fiction novel that would forever change his life.

The movie, with excellent direction by Bennett Miller and a solid supporting cast, explores how Capote was driven by his need to make “the book he was meant to write”. The author is shown as a manipulative, self-absorbed writer who gained the confidence and friendship of imprisoned killers Richard Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) and Perry Smith (Clifton Collins, Jr.). But the central focus is on Capote’s relationship with one of the killers, Smith who Capote used strictly for self-serving purposes to obtain enough information for his book. Capote is shown as so self centered that his friend and confidant, “To Kill A Mockingbird” author, Nelle Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) was quick to point out that “Truman was in love with Truman”.  For example, at the premiere of Lee’s movie adaptation, his reaction when asked about the film was that “I don’t see what all the fuss is all about.”  If he wasn’t the center of attention, he didn’t really care.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Capote, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Chris Cooper, Bob Balaban, Bruce Greenwood, Amy Ryan, Mark Pellegrino, Dan Futterman, Bennett Miller, Michael Ohoven, William Vance

Capote was an individual who saw Perry as his “goldmine”, and exploited their relationship by gaining his trust and using pretense, lies and betrayal.  Yet, there was a strange connection between the author and the artistic, intelligent killer that Capote could identify with. Capote put it this way: “It’s like we grew up in the same house. One day I went out the front door, and he went out the back.” By taking Perry’s personal notes, Capote wanted to write about a man that would be understood and not just seen as a monster.

The film hints that Capote might have also been in love with Perry, even though he was involved with writer Jack Dunphy (Bruce Greenwood). As a an author, Capote felt so attached to the subject matter, so emotionally and psychologically invested in the outcome that he felt every stay of execution extended his personal torture. Capote couldn’t wait for the killers to be executed so there would be closure and he could finally write an ending to his book.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Capote, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Chris Cooper, Bob Balaban, Bruce Greenwood, Amy Ryan, Mark Pellegrino, Dan Futterman, Bennett Miller, Michael Ohoven, William Vance

Actor Dan Futterman (TV’s Judging Amy) wrote the harrowing screenplay for the film, which is based on the book Capote, by Gerald Clark. Depicted is an evocative portrait of a brilliant, obsessed, conflicted writer whose struggle to complete his masterpiece took a toll on his life. In Cold Blood might have made Capote the most famous author in America. But, he never completed another book, and descended into alcoholism, the cause of his death in 1984.

Philip Seymour Hoffman masterfully conveys a mixture of tragedy, pain, humanity and sympathy for someone who otherwise appears despicable and unworthy were it not for his brilliant literary talent. Obviously, Capote does not represent everyman. Rather, Hoffman accomplishes a difficult task as he evokes the true man, Capote. To say the complex author was one for the books would be more than apropos.