While we're on the subject of what to see, don't miss David Sutherland's documentary, Country Boys, which will air on PBS in three installments on January 9, 10, and 11. You may recall Sutherland's 1998 documentary, The Farmer's Wife, one of the best pieces I've seen on the fate of the small farmer and the state of rural America. Country Boys is equally powerful, focusing on two teenage boys in Appalachia. One of the boys is transformed by his faith in Christ and the support of the church he joins.
Roy Anker's Top Ten
Not in ranked order, though #1 really is number 1.
1. Capote. The title says it: a chilling look at the means and person of author Truman Capote (1924-84) as he develops In Cold Blood (1966, and in 1967, a much-praised film), his best-selling nonfiction novel on the 1959 murder of a Kansas farm family. The wonderful, even eerie performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman as the flamboyant Capote dissects his deviousness, narcissism, and guilt as he extricates all he needs to know from too-trusting killer Perry Smith (Clifton Collins, Jr.). Moral compass comes from Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), Capote's childhood friend, later his research assistant, and then herself best-selling author of To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), in which Capote appears as the character Dill. What script and acting don't display, stunning cinematography does. The year's best film, it is also the best in years on how individual evil happens.
2. Good Night and Good Luck. Another period piece, directed and co-written by actor George Clooney, this spare, haunting treatment of the founders of CBS news and journalist lodestar Ed Murrow not only gets the feel of the Fifties right but displays what guts and grace look like, the occasion being the McCarthy ...1
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