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Film / Capote

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Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the writing of Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood. The movie was filmed mostly in Manitoba, in the autumn of 2004, and was released on September 30, 2005, to coincide with what would have been Truman Capote's 81st birthday. Capote is portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The plot of the film begins with the discovery of the dead bodies of the Clutter family in late 1959 by a family friend. While reading The New York Times, Truman Capote is riveted by the story of the family and calls William Shawn, then the editor of The New Yorker, to announce that he will personally document the tragedy.


Tropes associated with this work:

  • Camp Gay: Truman Capote.
  • Crapsack World
  • Caustic Critic: Capote was a prime example of this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: And this.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Perry may be a bastard but even he is disgusted by his fellow murderer, Dick.
    Smith: He's naturally mendacious. If he had a hundred dollars he'd steal a stick of chewing gum.
  • For the Evulz: Dick's apparent motivation.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Best exemplified by the party celebrating the successful launch of To Kill a Mockingbird. Everyone is congratulating Harper Lee on both a great book and a great movie adaptation...except Capote, who is alone and sulking at a bar because it isn't *his* accolades.
    Capote: (to himself) Frankly, I don't see what all the fuss is about.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Like Capote's book, the film takes sides between the killers, depicting Smith as more sympathetic and Hickock as more monstrous. Hence some humanizing details on the latter, like his attempt to make restitution to his ex-wife and their children, are left out.
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  • It's All About Me: How Capote views the world.
  • Jump Cut
  • Kubrick Stare: Perry Smith does one of these.
  • Mononymous Biopic Title: Capote. There's already a Truman for Harry S. Truman.
  • Nominal Hero: Capote is our protagonist, but there's not a whole lot of heroic to him. He's a snob, convinced of his own genius, a jealous and envious man, and an impeccable writer.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Sociopathic Hero: How Capote views Perry.
  • Tranquil Fury: Maybe not fury, but certainly annoyance. When Perry foolishly condescends to define a word (something Perry often did in real life), Truman calls him on it, even though he doesn't raise his voice. He's so irritated he ends the visit right then and there.
    • In retrospect, acting pedantic about vocabulary toward a published writer is not at all wise.
      • And when the writer in question has as titanic an ego as Truman Capote, that makes it even more unwise.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Perry, according to Truman, as well as his portrayal in the actual book. Whether he is this or just a Draco in Leather Pants is up to Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • Younger Than They Look: Capote was 35 years old at the time of the Clutter murders, yet he appears to look like he could reasonably be in his 50s or 60s (the voice Hoffman uses seems to support that).


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