Movie night last night was "Capote." Phillip Seymour Hoffman? A+. The movie itself? I give it a C. I thought it a little slow and plodding, though perhaps that was by design. (Could be the film was made to mirror the personality of its subject. Or maybe not.)
It was nicely made and had a real feel for its time and places. There are few things more distracting to me than period pieces that have no flavor for their period. (See "Grease"-- set in the fifties, but absolutely screams late seventies.)
Hoffman is magnificent. I found his affectations a little annoying the first few minutes (and in fact we turned the closed captions on just so we could figure out what he was saying!), but in no time at all it was clear he was the very embodiment of Truman Capote. We believe he's Capote because he believes it. Can you imagine his processes for getting into this character? The first rehearsals must have been scary. He must have questioned his ability to sustain the character for a whole movie. If he did, it sure as hell does not show up in the finished product.
A couple other laments: How did the guy playing Perry, one of the killers, escape all the media attention? He was really good in this. Just the right mix of menacing and sympathetic. I wanted to know more about him. And Catherine Keener, who is one of my favorites, was wasted. She certainly made the most of her scant screen time. How about a Harper Lee biopic starring her now?