Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Capote - fading from the memory

by Professor Wagstaff
Towards the end of its cinema run here in Australia I watched 'Capote' a couple of months back.

Certain things struck me about it: it was well-made, intelligent and a deserved Oscar-winning performance to Phillip Seymour Hoffman... and almost totally unmemorable. There isn't one scene in the film that really stood out as top notch. Even another recent biopic 'Walk The Line - which I felt was pretty pedestrian and TV-movie standard for the most part - had two memorable scenes (his first meeting with Sam Phillips and his confrontation late in the film with his father) that stay in the memory because of their intensity and quality.

Thinking back to it, there's virtually no scene that stays in the mind, as if the entire film has faded from my mind. Why is this? I think, for me at least, the film lacked emotion and depth, and had a cold and informal feeling about it. This is especially so with regards to the fate of Perry Smith, which simply does not have the emotional impact that it should have (in particular the scene where his hanging is shown which, considering how the film had been setup beforehand, should've been a shattering moment for the viewer).

The film was pretty successful in conveying the rise and fall of Truman Capote over the period covered during the film's duration. The info mentioned at the end of the film that Capote virtually ceased to be functioning writer after finishing 'In Cold Blood' is understandable and convincing considering what we've seen in the film and the quality of the performance of Hoffman.

But overall, considering the subject matter and critical praise, 'Capote' was a fairly considerable disappointment for me.


Blogger Alex Stroup said...

For me, Capote has several memorable scenes.

The primary, though secondary to the film, are the scenes where he is in his element at New York City parties, just controlling the crowd and has everybody under his control.

These may just stick out since I wish I could be that way at parties.

A couple of the conversations between Capote and Perry Smith in jail really stuck with me as well.

6/13/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Capote was my favorite film of 2005. It has several memorable scenes for me as well: the way Capote flinches when Smith is hanged, when Capote breaks down in tears upon seeing Smith for the last time, the scene in the bar after To Kill a Mockingbird when Capote says to himself, "I don't see what all the fuss is about." I could go on and on. I remember pretty much the whole film.

6/14/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I can sympathize, Professor. I wouldn't say that it's faded entirely from mind, but I always did think that the merits of the film were mostly in the performances.

6/14/2006 04:30:00 PM  

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