This film starts out with great promise, but eventually imprisons itself ironically in the same sort of languishing peril suffered by its main character - Truman Capote. Hoffman cries out, "I'm desperate for an ending, but there's no ending in sight!"
As for Hoffman's performance, I don't really see what all the Oscar talk is about. I've always felt he was an able actor; but in this film, he really feels like that - an actor. Perhaps Capote also carried himself as an actor, then Hoffman's performance certainly would have been wasted on me (my recollections of T.C. are sparse and vague).
However, kudos to the rest of the cast -- even the one-line actors all give strong believable performances. Catherine Keener is absolutely smashing as Nelle Harper Lee. Further, the direction is mighty until the scene where one main character is supposed to be emaciated after a month long hunger strike (he looks pretty healthy to me - perhaps a make-up failure). From there the picture relies heavily on Hoffman to deliver the goods with a deep emotional connection between the prisoner's past and his own. That communication is made mostly with words, not so strong via feeling. Scripting and direction may be in part to blame as well. Nonetheless, from there on, this reviewer lost some interest in an otherwise interesting premise.
Oh, btw, this isn't really a Capote bio pic as the title implies -- just an interesting/important slice of his life.
This film screened at a Laemmle Theatre.
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