"On assignment to write an article for the New Yorker, Truman Capote traveled to a small Kansas town, where he began to investigate and report on the gruesome murder of a local family. At first leery of the writer, the townsfolk come to trust Capote and allow him into their lives, giving him his story. "
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CAPOTE

movie trailer (apple.com)

NOTE: This Spoiler was sent in by AlanH who says... "Phillip Seymour Hoffman has the buzz for best actor, and with good reason. His portrayal of Truman Capote is outstanding. "Capote" covers the time he was writing his book,"In Cold Blood".

The film opens in Kansas, with the discovery of the murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. In New York, Truman Capote (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) reads about the murders in the Times. Something grabs him, so he tells his editor that he's going to write an article for the New Yorker onthe case.

He takes a train to Kansas along with Harper Lee (Catherine Keener). The locals take some time to warm up to the eccentric Capote, but they still find themselves drawn to him.

The killers, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.) and Richard Hickcock (Mark Pellegrino) are arrested. During the trial, Capote notes Smith's vocabulary and his pencil sketches. He first encounters Smith in the "women's cell" - a cell built in the sheriff's kitchen. There's an immediate attraction between the two men.

Smith and Hickcock are convicted and sentenced to death and moved to a prison.

Capote gets nearly unlimited access to Smith in prison by bribing the warden. As he continues to bond with Smith, he starts work on his novel. He hires a lawyer for their appeal. It's impossible to tell if Capote really cares about Smith, or is just befriending him to get material for his book. They spend a lot of time comparing their bad childhoods.

There's a scene where he reads an excerpt to a packed house in New York, overlaid with shots of Smith seeing another inmate taken to the gallows. Smith hears about the reading, but Capote denies that "In Cold Blood" is the real title.

Capote presses Smith to talk about the night of the murder, but Smith resists for a long time. Finally, he relents. We see the murders in flashback (warning, it's very gory). Smith didn't want to kill the family, but something about how the father looked at him, as if he were one of "those" that would rob and kill people angered him. He slit Mr. Clutter's throat, then Hickcock killed him and the rest with a shotgun.

As the appeals drag out, Capote becomes more impatient. Without the end of the story, he can't write the end of his book. After Smith writes him asking for a lawyer to help with their last appeal, Capote writes back that he couldn't find one.

The execution date is set. Capote travels back to Kansas, but can't bring himself to see Smith again. Finally, Harper Lee tells him about a moving telegram he got from Smith. Capote spends a few last minutes with Smith and Hickcock, and then witnesses their hanging.

He flies back to New York, looking over Smith's diary, photos, and a sketch of Capote done by Smith.

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