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Original title
Running time
110 min.
United States United States
Drama | Biography. Crime. 1950s. 1960s. Literature
Immensely gifted actor Philip Seymour Hoffman channels the spirit of Truman Capote in this deeply engaging portrait of a great American writer. Director Bennett Miller's film focuses on Capote's research and writing of "In Cold Blood," the pioneering non-fiction novel that skyrocketed him to unheralded acclaim - but not without a price. Capote's terrific supporting cast includes Catherine Keener as the thoughtful young writer Nelle Harper Lee and a nuanced Chris Cooper as sheriff Alvin Dewey.

It is 1959 and Capote is stunned into silence by a newspaper article detailing the brutal murder of the entire Clutter family in rural Kansas. Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.) and Richard Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) are arrested for the savage crime; strangers to the family, they killed them all for a few dollars. Capote decides he must write about the case and convinces his close friend Lee (Keener) - who will soon have "To Kill a Mockingbird" published - to be his "researcher and bodyguard." They immediately travel from the literary salons of libertine New York to the dusty farmlands of the culturally backward Midwest.

Capote sincerely sympathizes with the convicted killers: just as he does, they stand out like freakish weeds in the wholesome town of Holcomb. He identifies strongly with Perry, who is soft, sensitive and creative like himself and is dominated by the calculating Richard. But the book that will cement Capote's reputation, it turns out, is more important than his blooming relationship with a poor, weak young man in a death-row cell.

Hoffman is an intriguing, complex presence as Capote. Decked in baby-blue bathrobes in his boudoir and tailored suits in public, he is preened and prim, his blond hair slicked into an austere comb-over. Hoffman also superbly captures Capote's pinched high voice, animated face and ego-decimating wit with fascinating authenticity.

Uncovering the fierce inner demons that lie behind his coiffed, carefully-orchestrated persona, Miller and Hoffman vividly evoke a delicate literary legend whose ambitions threaten to transform him into a treacherous scoundrel.
2006: Berlin Film Festival: Official Selection
2005: Oscar: Best Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman). 5 Nominations
2005: Golden Globes: Best Actor dramático (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
2005: BAFTA Awards: Best Actor (Hoffman). 5 Nominations
2005: National Board of Review: Best Actor
2005: Asociaci├│n Nacional of Critics of Estados Unidos: Best Movie, Best Actor (Hoffman)
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Bennett Miller