Picks and Pans Review: New on DVD

UPDATED 03/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

Capote ($28.95) Most actors playing Truman Capote would have been content to simply master his southern-accented, baby-talk whine and call it a day. But that's just a jumping-off point for Philip Seymour Hoffman and his spellbinding, pathos-soaked portrayal of the author, who lost his soul—piece by devastating piece—while writing his final masterpiece, In Cold Blood. Extras: A featurette on the real Capote is worth a look, but the best stuff spotlights Oscar-winner Hoffman: A making-of doc illuminates his acting nuances and a revealing commentary features the actor discussing how he struggled mightily with the role throughout the first week of shooting before finding his way. (R)

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The Squid and the Whale ($26.96) Writer-director Noah Baumbach draws on his own childhood for this quirky gem of a tale about a family coping with divorce in '80s Brooklyn. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney are their usual brilliant selves, but the real revelation here is Owen Kline (son of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates) as their conflicted 12-year-old. Extras: Skip the mind-numbing, esoteric New York Film Festival Q&A with Baumbach, who saves all the fascinating stories for his commentary. (R) Movie:

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Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story ($19.95) This Seabiscuit-lite tale of a girl (Dakota Fanning) who helps resuscitate the career of an injured filly has a big heart, albeit one that beats sporadically until the second half. Extras: Largely for young horse lovers, including a look at the real-life filly that inspired the film and a primer on horse grooming (don't forget the mane conditioner!). (PG)
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