Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Peter Bogdanovich, Jeff Daniels
Director: Douglas McGrath

Why oh why is there so much fuss about a gay guy and his story about two hapless murderers? In Cold Blood, the phenomenally, infamously successful book by the brilliant Truman Capote, it was seemingly immortalised on the big screen by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in CAPOTE (2005). Well Hollywood has given us a double whammy with another film on Capote. I know you’re thinking why sing the same tune twice, well because it’s a surprisingly good tune, that’s why!

Comic charm dominates most of the first part of this film as we are introduced to the captivatingly charismatic Truman and his circle of high society buddies. Just as you are settling into what could have easily been a thoroughly amusing comedy, the tide turns and you find yourself in compelling drama territory as the complexities behind Truman’s persona become mingled with the research on his book. Truman finds himself crossing very dangerous boundaries with devastating effects.

To capably manoeuvre a film from genuine comedy to heavy drama is a task rarely achieved but hats off to Douglas McGrath for steering his cast wonderfully. Despite coming after the Oscar winning CAPOTE, Toby Jones gives an astounding performance that had me smiling, laughing and generally empathizing with his character’s journey – simply amazing. Supporting acts that standout are given by Daniel Craig, who manages to show the brutal side to his character whilst also showing the surprisingly noble side and Sandra Bullock, who is also worth a mention with her understated performance that quietly does her character justice.

Comic, dramatic and emotionally stirring stuff, in other words, great filmmaking!

4 out of 6 stars