Capote | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Philip Seymour Hoffman does an impressive impersonation of Truman Capote in this biopic, directed with force and economy by Bennett Miller. Dan Futterman adapted a 1988 bio by Gerald Clarke, but the sharp script has a narrower, more polemical focus than the book, concentrating on the writing of In Cold Blood and arguing that Capote was destroyed by the project's ethical and emotional conflicts. The depictions of novelist Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) and editor William Shawn (Bob Balaban) aren't convincing, but Miller is mainly interested in Capote's identification and duplicitous relationship with Perry Smith, one of the murderers he was writing about, and that story rings true. With Chris Cooper and Clifton Collins Jr. R, 98 min. Reviewed this week in Section 1. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Esquire, Landmark's Century Centre.

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