Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Capote's Search for Truth Exposes a Split America

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Capote's Search for Truth Exposes a Split America

Article excerpt

TRUMAN CAPOTE once said that, if he had known what a struggle it would be to write In Cold Blood, about the Kansas murders that became one of the publishing sensations of the Sixties, he would never have started it.

There is a palpable sense of that struggle in Bennett Miller's film, thanks largely to a performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman which has already won him Bafta honours and could well produce an Oscar shortly.

It is the kind of precise portrait that looks at times suspiciously like a caricature of the eccentric gay writer with the squeaky voice and consuming ambition. But somehow Hoffman swings it so that this fey Warhol-like figure, author of Breakfast At Tiffany's, comes alive in all his odd glory. Bennett's camera hardly leaves him, and we don't want it to.

It would be wrong, however, to think this is a one-horse movie. It is splendidly controlled throughout even if, at the end, there are questions one wants to ask about both Capote and the murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas.

Accompanied by Harper Lee - the excellent Catherine Keener - Capote travels to Holcomb and somehow, against all the odds considering his obvious strangeness to the locals, wins the trust of those leading the hunt for the killers. …

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