Capote and Reese

Saturday, October 8th, 2005 | Family, Film, Friends

Peter, BC, and I, since it was such a beautiful day, decided to forego being a part of it and bond in the dark instead, at a matinee of Capote at the Empire. Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant in the lead role, effectively capturing Capote’s mannerisms and voice without veering into charicature. He conveys Truman Capote as someone simultaneously charming, sleazy, and manipulative, projecting all for equally emphatic and opposing responses. The film focused on the part of Capote’s life when he researched and wrote In Cold Blood. He never fully recovered from the intensity of the experience, and the book ended up being not only the first of a genre called the Nonfiction Novel, but Capote’s last complete book. By focusing on this period, I think the filmaker has made a powerful statement about artistic process–how one’s expression can be propelled by sheer desire–for fame, wealth, to communicate, break new ground–incredible talent, and manipulating one’s moral life and others to make it happen.

Speaking of manipulating others, Reese has decided that he wants a pony tail and an earring. As I listened to myself saying, “Reese, you need a haircut,” I heard another voice saying, “Chris, you are one of those parents who is saying to his child, ‘You need a haircut.'” The two voices ended up battling it out without Reese’s help at all, and the final harmonious if not completely manipulative duet sounded something like, “Reese, ponytails are so completely uncool, and not even retro. How about a trip to the stylist for a fabulous pre-teen makeover?” He didn’t buy it, shaking his unruly boyfro at this truly unhip soccer dad.

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