Capote travels to Kansas, inviting childhood friend Nelle Harper Lee
) to come along. He intends to interview those involved with the Clutter family, with Lee as his go-between and facilitator. Alvin Dewey
), the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's lead detective on the case, brushes him off. Still, Dewey's wife Marie (Amy Ryan
) is a fan of Capote's writing and persuades her husband to invite Capote and Lee to their house for dinner.
Capote's stories of movie sets and film stars captivate Marie. Over time, her husband warms to Capote and allows him to view the photographs of the victims. The Deweys, Lee, and Capote are having dinner when the murder suspects, Perry Smith
(Clifton Collins Jr.
) and Richard "Dick" Hickock
), are caught. Flattery, bribery, and a keen insight into the human condition facilitate Capote's visits to the prison where the accused are held.
Capote begins to form an attachment to Smith. He informs Shawn of his intent to expand the story into a full-length book. Following the trial and conviction, Capote gains continued access to the murderers by bribing Warden Marshall Krutch (Marshall Bell
Capote spends the following years regularly visiting Smith and learning about his life, excepting a year-long stint when he goes to Morocco and Spain to write the "first three parts" of the book, accompanied by his romantic partner Jack Dunphy
The story of Smith's life, his remorseful manner, and his emotional sincerity impress Capote, who becomes emotionally attached to him despite the gruesome murders. Capote aids Smith and Hickock by obtaining expert legal counsel for them and initiating an appeal. Still, he is frustrated, as Smith declines to relate exactly what happened the night of the murders.
Though initially an effort to provide proper representation and extend Capote's opportunity to speak with the killers, the appeals process drags on for several years. Without the court case being resolved, Capote feels he is stuck with a story without an ending, and he is unable to complete his book. Eventually, he gets Smith to describe the killings and his thoughts at the time in great detail. He has what he wants from Smith, but he sees a callousness and selfishness in his own actions in the process.
Now with everything in hand, Capote still must wait for the appeals process to conclude before he feels he can publish his work. Over time, Lee's best-selling novel To Kill a Mockingbird
is turned into a movie, but Capote is unable to share in the joy of his friend's success, too caught up in drinking through his own misery.
With the last appeal rejected, Smith pleads for Capote to return before he is executed, but Capote cannot bring himself to do so. A telegram from Smith to Harper Lee ultimately compels Capote to return to Kansas. There he is an eyewitness as Smith and Hickock are executed.
Capote talks to Lee about the horrifying experience and laments that he could not do anything to stop it. She replies, "Maybe not. The fact is you didn't want to." While returning home, Capote looks through photos from the case and at the writings and drawings given to him by Smith.
An epilogue points out that In Cold Blood
turned Capote into the most famous writer in America, also noting that he never finished another book. A postscript gives the epigraph
he would have chosen for the title of Answered Prayers
: "More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones",
a quote from Saint Teresa of Ávila
grossed $28.8 million in the United States and Canada and $21.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $50 million, sales of its DVD/Blu-ray releases have cashed $17 million, against a production budget of $7 million.
received wide acclaim from critics, with Hoffman's performance the subject of particular praise. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes
reported that 89% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating
of 8.20/10 based on 197 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Philip Seymour Hoffman's riveting central performance guides a well-constructed retelling of the most sensational and significant period in author Truman Capote's life."
, the film has a score of 88 out of 100 based on 40 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Roger Ebert
gave the film a full four-star rating, stating: "Capote
is a film of uncommon strength and insight, about a man whose great achievement requires the surrender of his self-respect."
Wins for Philip Seymour Hoffman
was released on VHS (as a public screener only) and DVD on March 14, 2006. It got American Blu-ray
releases on February 17, 2009, October 8, 2012 and January 6, 2015.
- ^ "Capote". London, England: British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- ^ a b c d "Capote (2005)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
- ^ Capote (2005) – Filming locations
- ^ Shelley, Peter (2017). Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Life and Work. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-476-66243-5.
- ^ Ahern, Rosemary, ed. (2012). The Art of the Epigraph. How Great Books Begin. New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-451-69327-0.
- ^ "Capote (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
- ^ "Capote Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- ^ Ebert, Roger. "Capote". RogertEbert.com. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
Last edited on 2 April 2021, at 12:46
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