Went to see Capote last night at the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI. First of all, let me just say how much I love the Cable Car. It is a really neat art-house theatre and last night I finally got a chance to experience the pre-movie music. Last night it was two guys (one of which looked really familiar but couldn’t place him) singing Scottish songs accompanied by an acoustic guitar. So much better than those stupid "trivia" questions, ads and name scrambles they do at the big theaters (on a "side-rant" – why are some of those so easy: "ujlia obertrs" for Julia Roberts, but then the next trivia question will be something absurd like "How many bullets did Neo fire in the first Matrix movie?"), I love those couches.
As for the movie, it was excellent, as I was expecting, but it was much darker and chilling than I had anticipated. I knew it followed Truman Capote as he wrote his book In Cold Blood, but didn’t realize it was going to involve showing so much time spent with the killers and discussing the murders themselves. Yet, that’s what makes it a really good film in my opinion – that it is a straightforward biopic, but rather utilizes a little piece of the character’s history to explain what he was about. In ways subtle and not-so-subtle, we see how he had rough childhood, liked to drink, and had been made fun of all his life for his mannerisms. By forcing the audience to infer all of this from the performance, it allows Philip Seymour Hoffman to really shine – he would need to for this picture to even work – and you really understand why he won the Oscar for Best Actor.
While he got all the attention, I think that others in the film deserve recognition – not an Oscar, but simply some kudos. Catherine Keener jumps from the 40 Year Old Virgin to Capote easily, and Clifton Collins Jr. did a great job as Perry Smith, one of the killers.
What I haven’t heard about in the wake of this movie is whether or not Truman Capote’s works have increased in popularity, especially In Cold Blood. I know that I now want to read the book after seeing the movie and would anticipate that at some point in the coming months we’ll see an article stating the Capote has found a new audience and/or will be on Oprah’s reading list – if it isn’t already.