Life stories have always been the source of great movie fodder, whether the subject is a real person or someone invented. Here is one example of each.
Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Academy Award for his exceptional performance in “Capote” as the notorious author and social butterfly Truman Capote. We follow the sophisticated New York writer as he treks to the middle of Kansas in order to investigate a brutal series of murders for a new kind of book he plans to write. ‘In Cold Blood’ became a landmark in American literature, but it took a lot out of the delicate author, who virtually seduced one of the two killers to gain his confidence. The cast is filled with superb actors. Catherine Keener costars as Capote’s lifelong friend Harper Lee, the author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Chris Cooper plays the local district attorney who’s reluctant to give Capote access to the crime scene—and the murderers. And Clifton Collins Jr. memorably plays killer Perry Smith. They’re all great, but it’s Hoffman’s performance that lingers in the memory. Use xfinityTV.com to purchase “Capote” on your TV.
“BROADWAY DANNY ROSE”
Only a lifelong New Yorker and show business veteran like Woody Allen could have devised a film like “Broadway Danny Rose.” Woody also stars as a sad-sack talent agent who represents a motley assortment of performers—but treats each one like a major star. When one of his clients, Lou Canova, played by Nick Apollo Forte, beseeches Danny to help him out of a jam, he can hardly turn him down. He needs his agent to pretend to be escorting his girlfriend, played by Mia Farrow, in order to deceive his wife. But this winds up getting Danny in dutch with some New York mobsters. This genial farce is entertaining from start to finish, but will have special appeal to anyone who loves people on the fringes of show business.
So we have one biographical film about an adoptive New Yorker, and a fictional story about an entertainer and his hapless agent. They couldn’t be more different… but they’re both well worth seeing. Use xfinityTV.com to purchase “Broadway Danny Rose” on your TV.
Note: These picks, which start at $0.99, may not be available in all areas. SEE MORE OF LEONARD MALTIN’S PICKS HERE.