Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: movie recommendation

Friday, November 04, 2005

movie recommendation

Capote. This was a stunning film about the period of time just after the Kansas murders when Capote showed up with Harper Lee to write an investigative journal piece for the New Yorker. Four years later he changed the face of nonfiction genre with In Cold Blood. In the interim, Harper Lee writes and publishes To Kill a Mockingbird and the face of the Great American Novel changed as well.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is his usual brilliant self. His performance as Capote which could have easily gone too far was subtle and understated yet still gave you the flavor of the social man about town and the interior life of a determined genius: genuine, manipulative, self-centered, flawed, alcoholic.

The supporting role played by Catherine Keener was equally brilliant. She reminds me of some of my mother's favorite actresses from the 40s: the tough, independent woman in the midst of a man's world.

If you are looking for a court drama you will be disappointed. The court scenes take up all of 5 minutes in this film. It's about Capote and his obsession with this particular story. It's about Capote and his obsession with himself. In the end, this book makes him a more celebrated star of the literati than he already was, yet it also took something from him that he never recovered from.

Go see it.


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