February 3rd, 2006



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Still of Philip Seymour Hoffman in CapoteStill of Bob Balaban in CapoteStill of Philip Seymour Hoffman in CapoteStill of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener in CapoteStill of Philip Seymour Hoffman in CapoteStill of Clifton Collins Jr. and Mark Pellegrino in Capote

Truman Capote (Hoffman), during his research for his book In Cold Blood, an account of the murder of a Kansas family, the writer develops a close relationship with Perry Smith, one of the killers.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 7.5/10 (51,547 voted)

Critic's Score: 88/100

Director: Bennett Miller

Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener

In 1959, Truman Capote, a popular writer for The New Yorker, learns about the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. Inspired by the story material, Capote and his partner, Harper Lee, travel to the town to research for an article. However, as Capote digs deeper into the story, he is inspired to expand the project into what would be his greatest work, In Cold Blood. To that end, he arranges extensive interviews with the prisoners, especially with Perry Smith, a quiet and articulate man with a troubled history. As he works on his book, Capote feels some compassion for Perry which in part prompts him to help the prisoners to some degree. However, that feeling deeply conflicts with his need for closure for his book which only an execution can provide. That conflict and the mixed motives for both interviewer and subject make for a troubling experience that would produce an literary account that would redefine modern non-fiction.

Writers: Dan Futterman, Gerald Clarke

Allie Mickelson - Laura Kinney
Kelci Stephenson - Nancy Clutter
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Truman Capote
Craig Archibald - Christopher
Bronwen Coleman - Barbara
Kate Shindle - Rose
David Wilson Barnes - Grayson
Michael J. Burg - Williams (as Michael J. Berg)
Catherine Keener - Nelle Harper Lee
Kwesi Ameyaw - Porter
Andrew Farago - Car Rental Agent
Ken Krotowich - Courthouse Guard
Chris Cooper - Alvin Dewey
R.D. Reid - Roy Church
Rob McLaughlin - Harold Nye (as Robert Mclaughlin)


Official Website: Gaumont Columbia Tristar [France] | Sony Classics [United States] |

Release Date: 3 February 2006

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $324,857 (USA) (2 October 2005) (12 Screens)

Gross: $28,747,570 (USA) (23 April 2006)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Canada: (Toronto International Film Festival)

Did You Know?

Michael J. Burg plays Capote's cousin, playwright Tennessee Williams. He has also played Capote himself in two other films: The Audrey Hepburn Story, and The Hoax.

Anachronisms: A school bus shown in the background parked during the school scene shows an International hood and grille style from the late 1960s to early 1970s.

[first lines]
Laura Kinney: Hello? Nancy?

User Review

Mr. Hoffman, you are Truman Capote.

Rating: 9/10

The easiest role for an actor to play is a historical figure - we have no idea how Julius Caesar really sounded, how he moved his body, punctuated his speech, bit his lip, walked into a room, held his cigarette. The hardest role is the living, or recently deceased, celebrity whom we watched, heard, studied, mimicked and thought we understood. JFK, Martin Luther King, Ray Charles, and, above all, the inventor of self referential celebrity, Truman Capote (with apology to Andy Warhol and, of course, Noel Coward)..

After exploding to meteoric fame with his novella Breakfast at Tiffany's, Capote became the New York café society's darling, heir to Coward's gay-man-child-bon-vivant. He drank and held court with the best of New York, which just also happened to be the nexus of television in the early 60s. Before long Capote was the quintessential modern celebrity, famous for being famous. And he did it all before our eyes.

Philip Seymour Hoffman does not so much play Capote as become him. And not just in mannerism, no mean feat, but in personality, because we are convinced that Hoffman feels what Capote felt, cries over the lies, accepts his moral failings. For a short story writer-raconteur from New Orleans, Capote found himself at the center of a nationally enthralling multiple homicide, facing the ultimate journalist's Faustian dilemma: if he perpetrates a lie for the sake of exposing the truth, is he ever worthy of redemption? Capote, in the end, concluded that he wasn't; he never wrote another book. He descended into drunkenness and died a lonely soul. This is not the stuff of Holly Golightly.

I saw this picture at the Toronto Film Festival with Hoffman, Catherine Keener and director Bennett Miller in attendance. Though they had seen it many many times before, it was obvious even they were moved by it and by our reaction. As we stood and applauded them, we turned to one another, glowing in the realization that we had witnessed an amazing performance.

We knew Truman Capote. We watched him live on television. Truman Capote was (we imagined) our friend. Mr. Hoffman, you are Truman Capote.


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