Vanity Fare

Oscar awaits an actor's immodest portrayal of the immodest Capote

At which various friends and enemies recall better movies: 'Capote'
Sony Pictures Classics
At which various friends and enemies recall better movies: 'Capote'

The movie descends from irritating to embarrassing with its pretentious dramatization of the murders, in which images of the bloodied victims are juxtaposed with a portrait of Jesus hanging on the Clutters' wall. (There's a reference in there to a charcoal drawing of Jesus that Smith made during an earlier stint in jail, though nothing is made of it.) Part of In Cold Blood's success was the mystery it aroused about what was verifiably true and what was essentially true. Here, the shocking truth and artistic invention enter a banality showdown and it all sounds like lies. In the end, the best Capote can offer are its plaintive shots of Kansas's high plains. Which, it turns out, were filmed in Canada.

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