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Critics Say Biopic <i>Capote</i> is Strong Oscar Contender


The biopic movie drama Capote is a strong Oscar contender. Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been nominated in the category of best actor for his interpretation of the controversial author Truman Capote. The film has also received a nomination for best picture this year as it explores the complex personality of the celebrated American author, Truman Capote. It also explains how Capote came to write his landmark, non-fiction novel In Cold Blood. Penelope Poulou has a review.

Before the gruesome killings of a rural Kansas family in 1959, one would hardly think that Truman Capote, the darling of New York's literary salons, would be interested in writing a non-fiction account of a gory crime story. But Capote believes the story has the makings of a classic tale of the heartland and goes to Kansas to learn more. His flamboyant clothes, effeminate mannerisms and sarcastic attitude do not win him any friends there.

Eventually, the killers are caught, and Capote talks his way into their cells and into their lives. He convinces them that by writing about them and what led them to commit the crimes will give them enough publicity to win them a lighter sentence.

The movie's director Bennett Miller says, the film depicts Capote as manipulative, insecure and tormented.

"This is a very public figure, Truman Capote, who also has a very, very private inner sanctum. And that is what this film is about: peeling back those layers to the heart of darkness," explains Miller.

The movie also reveals Capote's humble beginnings, his abused childhood and his complex relationship with Perry Smith, the younger of the two killers.

Director Miller says actor Philip Seymour Hoffman immersed himself in Capote's character. "There is no other actor like him, I think. He is really an inside out actor. He doesn't put it on as much as he lets it out."

The rest of the cast is also brilliant. Chris Cooper has a short but forceful role as District Attorney Alvin Dewey. Catherine Keener interprets famous author and Capote's close friend, Nell Harper Lee, whose composure balances Capote's emotional fragility.

Catherine Keener has also received an Oscar nomination for this role in the Best Supporting Actress category. The movie is hailed as one of this year's strongest Oscar contenders.