Bennett Miller's CAPOTE is a finely crafted biopic that recounts a historic chapter in American history and, in the process, captures the unraveling of a truly gifted mind. Starring an extraordinary Philip Seymour Hoffman as the legendary Truman Capote, the film concentrates on the seven-year period during which Capote wrote his groundbreaking nonfiction novel, IN COLD BLOOD. One morning in 1959, Capote learned of a horrific family killing in Holcomb, Kansas. With the intention of writing an article for the New Yorker, he traveled to the Midwest with his good friend Nell Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), who was about to publish her own masterwork, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Somehow, the soft-spoken, eccentric writer managed to earn the trust of local authorities--most notably, reserved K.B.I. agent Alvin Dewey (Chris Cooper). But when the two killers were caught and returned to Kansas to await trial, Capote began to form an intense emotional bond with one of them, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins, Jr.). The pressure of this connection threatened to push an already fragile Capote into the darkest recesses of himself. His only hope was to finish the book that he was convinced would shock the nation and change the course of writing forever.
Hoffman's tender portrayal of the writer is a remarkable achievement. He slips into the skin of Capote flawlessly, allowing viewers to experience Capote's inner turmoil for themselves. Keener and Cooper once again deliver compassionate performances. But it is Miller's overall vision, based on a script by Dan Futterman and beautifully realized by his technical collaborators (especially director of photography Adam Kimmel and production designer Jess Gonchor), that makes CAPOTE an Oscar-worthy production.
Academy Awards Best Actor 2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman Oscar-winning actor, CAPOTE, DOUBT