Monday, October 03, 2005

The Philip Seymour Hoffman Show

Saw Capote over the weekend and was wowed. It's a tour de force performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and he really pulls it off. It would have been easy to do a SNL-type effeminate cariacture, but he keeps it very real. He's great at showing the man's extremes - from the highs where he's the life of the party to the lows when he struggles with the book and his conscience. I've never read In Cold Blood but it's now on my list. Catherine Keener is also good as Harper Lee, Capote's childhood friend who keeps him grounded and gives him courage. I've been a fan of Hoffman since he was the Dirk-Diggler-obsessed grip in Boogie Nights, and I'm glad he's found a role that will finally give him the acclaim and hopefully the Oscar he deserves. Hoffman's nuanced performance shows all the negatives of the self-absorbed Capote, yet somehow keeps him sympathetic. And this movie really shows how grueling writing can be, without boring the audience with long sequences of the writer typing or staring at the blank page. All work and no play never makes Truman a dull boy.

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