This is the kind of movie that one can rewatch again and again as long as significant time has passed since they last screened it.
I think this movie is a tad too long.
What makes Capote such an amazing movie to watch is the fact that it is truly a neutral piece of filmmaking. This is the story of a man who upon hearing about some grizzly killings decides to write a book about the killers. The only problem is that in order to get the killers to talk with him, Truman Capote lip Seymour Hoffman) must manipulate these men and create a friendship that ultimately has a tremendous effect on the writer. It is in this dark sphere that Capote resides. Once it establishes the story and gets us comfortable with the characters, we slowly start to see Truman unravel as he is literally caught between his life and his art.
Art eventually wins out but not before exacting an enormous price from our main character. Director Bennett Miller has crafted an extraordinary movie that like Capote's book, In Cold Blood, presents us an unabashed account of humanities tendency toward self destruction.
We have two commentary tracks on this disc. There is one with Bennett Miller and Philip Seymour Hoffman and then another with Miller and the film's cinematographer Adam Kimmel. As much as I wanted to listen to both of these, I opted for the one with Miller and Hoffman. I got pretty much what I expected from these characters. They talked about the film, working together and ultimately it became apparent that while Miller isn't as seasoned as Hoffman, he could more than hold his own in the filmmaking department.
There are three documentaries here. There are two "Behind the Scenes" featurettes that look more at the production of this film, but there is also a rather in-depth doc on Truman Capote called "Unanswered Prayers." While this documentary doesn't try and fully explain why Capote was how he was, it does show us how the events in the film effected him for the rest of his life.
2.35:1 - Widescreen. This film looks like something that Frank Darabont would have made. It is very stolid and solid in it's look. I found that Bennett Miller really opted to use a lot of grays as he created the almost drab setting throughout this movie. Still, I got a real sense of the time and place within this story, and I never for a moment felt like I was watching actors act on a set.
English (Dolby Digital 5.1) - French Audio. The soundtrack for this movie is completely subservient to the story that is being told. Sure, there is music that comes in at the right place to underscore a specific moment, event or idea, but all in all I really think that Miller and Co.'s minimalist approach very much helps this movie. We aren't asked to judge Truman Capote so much as we are being asked to watch him.
Philip Seymour Hoffman stands on the cover holding a cigarette in the same photo that was used to publicize this movie for it's theatrical release. It's colorless look really gives this DVD an ominous tone. The back gives us some shots from the film, a description of what Capote is about, a "Special Features" list and some technical specs. This packaging isn't that special but it doesn't need to be because it's the movie itself that is.
When one considers that Bennett Miller has only made two films (the first being the DV opus The Cruise), the fact that Capote managed to do what it did is astounding. If Miller was fourteen (instead of forty), I am sure that him being nominated for Best Picture and Best Director Oscars would have brought more coverage of the fact that his first major motion picture put him right with the best in the business.
Capote is a very well made film, that while I felt it lingered a little to long on Truman Capote laying in bed bemoaning his problems, I ultimately think this is very much a film worth owning.