To be honest, I was looking to rent “Children of Men”, but I couldn’t find it at the video store, so I thought I’d have a look at this one instead.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is in the title role, and it’s really a movie built around his performance. We are introduced to the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a study of contradictions – he behaves one way in popular society, and quite another in his personal relationships.
In the course of the film he writes what is regarded as his greatest book – In Cold Blood
(which I haven’t read), based on a multiple murder in a Kansas farmhouse. The relationships he developed with the law enforcement officials and the murderers, and the effect this had on him provides the plot of the film.
If you’re worried about such things, there are some images of violence, and some bad language. Ultimately it’s not a movie about spectacle or set pieces, but rather about performances, and characterisation in particular.
It’s a great performance and Hoffman deserves his Oscar, but there may not be enough substance there for all viewers. If you’re particularly interested in the man or the book, it would be worth a viewing.