Cert 15

Biographers are always discovering that someone else is working on the same subject, but biopics have surely never had such a spectacular double-up.

Just a couple of years after Philip Seymour Hoffman's award-winning impersonation of Truman Capote comes this second film on the writer, written and directed by Douglas McGrath, covering the same period, with very similar moments. The smart metropolitan gadfly leaves behind New York's brittle social scene and journeys out to Kansas to create his exploitative masterpiece In Cold Blood, the sensational literary investigation of a horrific slaying.

British actor Toby Jones plays Capote and certainly looks the part - more so than Hoffman. It's a very good performance and Jones deserves his time in the spotlight. The same goes for Daniel Craig, playing the captured killer Perry Smith, befriended by Capote in prison.

There is a more directly imagined romance between the two men in this movie, which spells out far more emphatically Capote's unreliability and outright lying. Unlike the Hoffman film, it stays off Capote's reputation in the New York literary world, and does not dramatise the envy of his friend Harper Lee's success - and Sandra Bullock is a much less interesting Lee than Catherine Keener was. A good film, though.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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