Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland assembles a mosaic of moods and beautiful imagery to detail the friendship between playwright Tennessee Williams and author Truman Capote, two literary icons whose work has been heavily assimilated into public consciousness over the past century, whether through Oscar-winning film adaptations, countless theatre productions and even part of school curriculums the world over.

A documentary where one can extract a plethora of poignant quotes, Vreeland arbitrarily parallels their individual life trajectories and interlinks them with moments from their fluctuating friendship. Using their memoirs as a source, Vreeland accompanies them with seamlessly interwoven, stylised montages of archival footage, TV interviews, movie scenes, letters and photo stills. Voiced by Jim Parsons (as Capote) and Zachary Quinto (as Williams), both emulating their refined southern drawls; their accents inject a theatricality to proceedings.

It’s still unfathomable to think that at the time their work was so widely accepted. Two men who in their conservative times wore their sexuality on their sleeve, dallied with dark themes, and produced more honest, nuanced stories and characterisations than was accustomed to. With refreshing candour, they divulge openly about their own quirks, their contemplations on sex, love, strained family relations, as well as their battles with depression and addiction. They congruently talk of their writing as an obsession, an escapism from their troubled existence, as Williams affirms “I write, as everyday life is unsatisfactory”.

Admittedly, you never get the full sense of their friendship. The cutting banter, the occasional mention of each other in diary entries, and the sporadic trips abroad signal to a more intermittent friendship, rather than something continuous and lifelong. Coupled by a dearth of any footage of them together in later life, their closeness feels more mythologised than real. Nonetheless, this is an exemplar piece of poetic style documentary filmmaking, meticulously crafted and mesmerising to watch.



CAST: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams

DIRECTOR: Lisa Immordino Vreeland

SYNOPSIS: The work, lives and personal journeys of two iconic American artists coalesce with creative combustion in this innovative dual-portrait documentary.