The Reel Review


Ryan Murphy’s second installment in his Feud anthology TV series is the story of Truman Capote and his relationship – initially pleasant but later contentious – with New York City’s glamorous socialites of the 1960s and 70s. Tom Hollander (Pride & Prejudice, Gosford Park) stars as Capote, with Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, Calista Flockhart and Chloe Sevigny as the coterie of high society doyennes. The series is based on Laurence Leamer’s 2021 book Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era.

Tom Hollander in Feud: Capote vs The Swans

Gus Van Zant (Milk, Good Will Hunting) directs half of the eight episodes in this montage-laden, “original housewives” drama, which features Murphy’s now trademark style over substance in the storytelling department. After a strong couple of initial episodes, the series starts to drag, as time jumps chart the before, during and after associated with Capote’s thinly-veiled, dishy tell-all “La Côte Basque 1965” article published in Esquire magazine in 1975 – teased as an excerpt of a novel that would never come to be.

Naomi Watts, Chloe Sevigny and Diane Lane in Feud: Capote vs the Swans

Hollander exquisitely nails Capote’s affected way of speaking. Of The Swans, Watts and Lane are the standouts, as the respective leader of the clique and its most spirited member. The sumptuous visuals – in particular, Capote’s famous 1966 masquerade ball at The Plaza Hotel – help compensate for a comparatively flimsy script, a LOT of unlikable characters and a confusing and maddening array of time jumps.


• While the series implies that Capote sent Ann Woodward (Demi Moore) an advance copy of the salacious article which caused her to commit suicide before its publication, there’s no evidence that he did or that the impending story prompted her suicide.

Katherine Graham and Truman Capote at his 1966 masquerade ball.

• Katherine Graham surmised that Capote chose her as his guest of honor at the 1966 masquerade ball, because naming her wouldn’t threaten his friendships with his swans.

Feud is the final performance for Treat Williams, who died in a 2023 motorcycle accident shortly after filming the series.


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