In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his assassination.
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the cofounder who was later squeezed out of the business.
Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
In 1974 Samuel Joseph Byck attempted to hijack a plane he intended to fly into the White House to kill Richard Nixon - possibly the first time an airliner was to be used as a flying bomb in a terrorist attack. Sam Bicke is a lonely, ineffectual incompetent who feels wronged by his family, friends, employers and the world in general, though his problems are largely of his own making and his petulant refusal to compromise what he sees as his 'values'. Thus he loses his job rather than 'lie' to customers about prices, while at the same time he continuously deceives his friends, and steals from his friend and his brother. Elaborate plans for success founder on equally avoidable issues. As his world falls apart, he fantasizes Richard Nixon (then under the shadow of Watergate and soon to leave office) as his ultimate enemy, and Leonard Bernstein (to whom he dictates endless self-exculpatory audio letters) as his only friend and equal. As a bleak future closes in, Bicke mounts the ... Written by
I caught this film at AFI primarily due to my interest in Sean Penn and indeed his performance is spectacular. But Mr. Penn's performance alone is not what makes this a truly great film. The intelligent writing, well-timed and rich score, and supportive performances by Naomi Watts, Jack Thompson and Don Cheadle blend perfectly in this marvelously crafted feature transporting the viewer into the lives and era of the exquisitely human characters who are so elegantly portrayed. Sean Penn's performance leans heavily on the clever and complex writing which offers him the opportunity to display an impressive range of pathos. The writers have managed to depict the very human and sympathetic side of a character that would typically be cast as the villain. I think this is a hugely important film for that reason and on many other levels as well. The writers are able to very subtly include sociopolitical commentary without being "in your face" or at all judgmental as the political arena is viewed through the lead character's eyes yet not really distorted due to the inclusion of archival footage. The unexpected doses of humor matched perfectly with the poignancy of the lead character's plight. This film is so moving, scenes and dialogue echo in the corners of the mind for days after the first viewing. I'll definitely be seeing Assassination again.
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