Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cold-blooded writer

"More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones."
--Truman Capote

DW and I watched "Capote" on DVD last night. It's a great character study of the writer who may have been America's first professional celebrity. I remember seeing him make catty remarks on talk shows when I was much younger, but I really didn't pay him much mind. All I knew was that he was a famous author, and that he was a major drama queen. Evidently, after he wrote "In Cold Blood," that's just about what became of Truman Capote, and the film "Capote" shows how the process of writing that brilliant piece of literature also destroyed Capote's soul. Thus, his own answered prayer led to his own grief.

Holcomb, Kansas, is not far from where I grew up. I can only imagine how odd this little man from New York with a squeaky voice must have seemed to the townspeople. Yet he won them over and wrote about them. He also became very fond of the two men who killed the local family. However, he needs for them to be executed so he can finish his book, and he needs to get one of the killers to provide him with a first-hand account of the murders. The Capote in the movie is, by turns, kind, loving, dishonest, and ruthlessly manipultive. His childhood friend and fellow writer Harper Lee ("To Kill a Mockingbird") in the end becomes his conscience.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent in the title role. He is believable depicting Truman's quirky mannerisms, his kindness, his ambition, and his ruthlessness. It's well worth a look.

We went to see "Friends with Money" today. I was expecting a light romantic comedy, but this movie was actually somewhat moody. It's a "chick flick" about 40-somethings in relationships. Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who has crappy, self-destructive relationships, while all of her best friends are married and wealthy. But they have relationship issues also, and one of them actually ends up heading for divorce court. Not bad.

No comments: