Philip Seymour Hoffman is in pretty much everything these days. I still remember one of his breakout roles; he played rock writer Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous." Now, almost a decade later, he's popping up alongside big names like Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. "Capote," directed by Bennett Miller, is one of the major reasons Hoffman is so famous nowadays.
The film is a story about a particular segment in Truman Capote's life - the period in which he researched and wrote "In Cold Blood," his famous account of the grisly killing of a Kansas family. Along the way, though, he starts to develop a relationship with one of the murderers, a fact which will wreak havoc on his emotions.
Hoffman is indeed fantastic as Truman Capote, nailing his mannerisms and the ambivalence he feels toward the whole situation. On the one hand, he sympathizes with the killers, as they share a similar life story, but on the other, he wants to finish his book, and that can only happen when the killers are executed. Seeing which impulse finally wins over is one of the motivations to see the movie to the end.
Aside from that dilemma, though, there isn't much in the way of conflict or plot to propel the story forward, which makes some parts of the movie feel like a series of vignettes strung together. And though Catherine Keener, Chris Cooper, and Clifton Collins Jr. all put in great performances, the movie sometimes artificially feels like a one-man show (a potential downfall of all biopics).