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Capote

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Saw this at my mom's with her and grandma.  Greg was there, but fell asleep.   It was a very slow-paced movie.

It was about Truman Capote, during the time he wrote his last book, In Cold Blood.  He started in 1959 and finished around 1963.

I had heard of Truman Capote, but I've never read anything by him.  In fact, I didn't realize he was an author.  For some reason, I always got him mixed up with Capone, so in my mind I always associated him with gangsters.  They mention that he wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's (which I've never seen and know mostly through Sleepless in Seattle.)   And right at the beginning of this movie they show that he was good friends with Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird (which I have seen, but not read.)

He was a very effeminate man, and apparently quite gay.  Which was probably pretty scandalous back then.  I wonder how he managed to hide it long enough to get discovered.  Anyway, apparently he was the first person to write a non-fiction novel.   Which surprised me.  I would have figured that someone would have done so earlier than 1960.

They show him reading in the paper about a killing in Kansas and then inviting Harper Lee to go with him to research it.  Apparently, by this point in his life he had connections in high places.  He was able to get into the police station and speak with the detectives, who were obviously unhappy about talking with him.  After the perpetrators were caught, he got access to the warden of the prison.  He hinted at his connections and then also dropped a $2500 bribe on the warden's desk.  A huge amount of money back then.  So he certainly knew how to work the system.

During the course of the movie they show him at a couple of dinner or cocktail parties, schmoozing with famous people.  There were a few remarks he made that led me to believe he was pretty full of himself.  That he liked to talk about himself.

He has a boyfriend, who is also a writer.  I didn't catch his name.  Capote puts their vacation plans, and basically their entire life, on hold while he begins researching this new book.  But they don't show much more than that about their relationship.

They show some about him getting to know one of the killers.  And Capote remarks a few times that he senses a deep connection with this guy.  That he felt the guy was not at all different from Capote himself.  That somewhere early in his life he took a different route than Capote did.

And that was maybe when he got too close to the story.  They didn't shoe Capote becoming disgusted with him as he revealed more about himself and what happened.  He gave Capote his journal.  And eventually he described what actually happened.

Capote kind of stalled on the book because he needed to know the final outcome of their sentance.  The appeals process dragged on at least four years.  And they portrayed Capote as becoming despondent.  It was unclear to me if he became that way because he felt bad about their death sentance?  Or, if he was wracked with hopelessness and had stopped providing the financial assistance and influence he had early in the case.  They did show him lying to the guy more than once.

The movie basically ends when he has everything he needs to finish the book.   Apparently, it has become a very influential book.  My mom read it when it came out and said it affected her greatly.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay Per View.  A fairly interesting snip of Capote's life at the end of his writing career.

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Last modified: July 28, 2006
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