Philip Seymour Hoffman is Capote. His performance in the film is astonishing - thoroughly convincing. I entered the theater knowing nothing about Capote or In Cold Blood so I had no preconceived notions of this man or his story. Hoffman’s performance presented Capote in a way that allowed you to step into his thoughts and experience his complicated and highly selfish decisions.
It was selfishness that motivated Capote to befriend Perry, the murderer, and for Perry to candidly explore his life and crime. Although there is sincerity, compassion and a bizarre love between the two men the viewer fluctuates between understanding each of their motivations to feeling disgust for each of them.
The performance by Catherine Keener as Nellie Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird, is also commendable. She is grounded between a visual simplicity, intellectual complexity and acts as the moral foil to Capote’s behaviors. I hope that a film is made about Lee and that Keener portrays the writer.
If you have not yet seen the film visit the website for a sample of the beautiful score, breathtaking cinematography and audio clips.