As Anthony Hopkins picks up the 2021 best actor Oscar, Capote emphasises the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the late actor’s tour de force performance that saw him collect the corresponding Oscar in 2006. As the camp, acerbic writer and columnist, Hoffman inhabits Truman Capote as the writer researches what is to become a classic of true crime literature, In Cold Blood.

Learning of the violent murder of a Kansas farming family, Capote determines he will write about the case. But he sees it needs more than simply an in-depth article. Time spent finds him not only a constant visitor to rural Kansas but also develop a close relationship with Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jnr – The Mule, Honey Boy), one of the killers. As appeal after appeal against the death penalty delays that inevitability, so Capote’s emotional and mental state suffer.

Hoffman is quite simply extraordinary in this dark tale that ultimately derailed a man who was, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, famous for being famous. He never wrote anything of substance after the publication of In Cold Blood.

Nominated for 5 Oscars in 2006 including best film, director (Bennett Miller in his debut feature), supporting actress (Catherine Keener), won 1 (Hoffman).

Rating: 70%

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