CAPOTE — Sure to be a contenda

2 10 2005

CAPOTE is one of those types of movies that I’m supposed to like a lot more than I do. It’s got one of those “You’re so going to give me an Oscar nomination” performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote (one of the most influential writers of the 1960s in America), it’s about a troubled part of this troubled artist’s life as he struggles with his own internal demons (Internal Demons are a great ticket to the Oscar ceremonies, by the way), and it has images of the American Heartland and Chris Cooper in it.

So how come I didn’t like it as much as everyone else says I should have?

Well, for one thing, the script does this annoying thing that always drives me insane when I see it in movies. It moves relatively straighforwardly from scene to scene, with each scene making one obvious plot point before moving on. There’s remarkably little depth to the writing.

Then, it’s got the other thing that drives me up the maddening tree — a shape with very little shape at all. Every scene screams out how important it is and, as anyone who has ever listened to me rant about The Rule of Threes can testify, I think that if Everything Is Important, than Nothing Is Important (could I possibly put more Words In Capitals??).

In fact, if there was another name on the credits I’d swear that an actor directed this movie because actors who direct tend to think that Acting Moments have to come at you fast and furiously so the audience gets it.

Catherine Keener, by the way, does really well in a terribly underutilized way.

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