The Nominees: 'Capote'

Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener in Sony Picture Classics' "Capote" (2005)
Sony Pictures Classics
"Capote" is up for five Oscars: Best Picture (which would go to producers Caroline Baron, William Vince and Michael Ohoven), Best Director (Bennett Miller), Best Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Keener) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Dan Futterman).

In November 1959, Truman Capote, the author of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and a favorite figure in what is soon to be known as the jet set, read an article on a back page of the New York Times. It reported the murders of four members of a farm family, the Clutters, in Holcomb, Kan.

Similar stories appear in newspapers almost every day, but something about this one caught Capote's eye. It presented an opportunity, he believed, to test his long-held theory that, in the hands of the right writer, non-fiction can be as compelling as fiction.

What impact have the murders had on that tiny town on the wind-swept plains? With that as his subject, he convinced The New Yorker magazine to give him an assignment and he sets out for Kansas.

More from on "Capote" and on the Oscars ...
  • See photo menu for pictures of the premiere of "Brokeback Mountain" on the East and West coasts.
  • See photo essay for more pictures of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • See photo essay for more pictures of Catherine Keener.
  • See Real To Reel to compare the real Truman Capote to the man on the big screen.
  • Watch excerpts from the movie.
  • See Philip Seymour Hoffman Gets Candid for a 60 Minutes interview with the actor.
  • Find out about all the nominees in the Academy Awards special report.

    Caught in Las Vegas, the killers, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.) and Dick Hickock (Mark Pellegrino), were returned to Kansas, where they were tried, convicted and sentenced to die. Capote visited them in jail. As he got to know them, he realized that what he had thought would be a magazine article had grown into a book.

    His subject would be the collision of two Americas: the safe, protected country the Clutters knew and the rootless, amoral country inhabited by their killers.