Lynn’s Druthers Marathon, part 19
Length: 114 minutes
Director: Bennett Miller
Writer: Dan Futterman, based on the book by Gerald Clarke
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr.
Music: Mychael Danna (and non-original music)
Oscars: won for Best Actor (Hoffman); nominated for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Keener)
I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), a couple days ago
Synopsis: Truman Capote researches and writes In Cold Blood
Concept: Why not just remake In Cold Blood? Or, better yet, write your own story. I don’t like biopics at the best of times, but a biopic that’s about a great work… how can that possibly be a better use of my time than re-reading said work, or watching the movie based on it? The idea for this movie strikes me as a really well-made Making Of documentary.
Story: If I’d never seen or read In Cold Blood, and so didn’t have that comparison, I would have given it a “great.”
Characters: Try as they might to force a dilemma onto him, Capote is just not half as interesting as the people he wrote about. And, sure, a lot of those people are in this movie, but they only really come across when the dialog is taken straight out of Capote’s novel.
Dialog: Again, would have been great if I’d never seen or read In Cold Blood. As it is, I’m not clear about the ethics of using Capote’s dialog in his own biopic (without crediting him). The book this is based on is supposed to be non-fiction. And Capote is clearly presented as an unreliable source. And yet the strongest parts of the film are taken straight from his book, without any hints to the audience of what their source is. Strange.
Music: Shamelessly rips off Thomas Newman.
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay, ). I guess I had a lot of bad things to say about it, but really, it’s a perfectly all right movie. Very nice to look at. And Philip Seymour Hoffman is awesome.
Objective Rating (Average):