In theaters: Capote and more


Daniel Mendelsohn writes thoughtfully in the latest New York Review of Books about Bennett Miller’s Capote, a film that paints the writer as confidence man, and writing based on someone else’s life as an enterprise fraught with dangerous opportunities for exploitation.

The ideas aren’t new; a friend who saw the film with me on Sunday recalled Graham Greene’s observation that every novelist has a sliver of ice in his heart. But Philip Seymour Hoffman inhabits the grasping Capote so fully and evokes his manipulations so chillingly that, as Mendelsohn says, “the creation of In Cold Blood [becomes] a moral tragedy along Faustian lines — a drama in which the fulfillment of the protagonist’s dreams comes at a monstrous price.”

Also of note:

  • Anthony Lane charges director Joe Wright with Brontëfying Jane Austen in his new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. “The question,” according to Lane, “is not whether the director was justified in that transmutation but whether he had the choice; whether any of us, as moviemakers, viewers, or readers, retain the ability — not so much the scholarly equipment as the imaginative clairvoyance — to see Austen clearly.”
  • In the run-up to the release of Brokeback Mountain, Emma Garman ranks her ten favorite man-on-man onscreen kisses.

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