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"Certainly as good [as Capote] and a lot more fun. Toby Jones is so physically right, you'll think Capote is playing himself." - Jack Mathews, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 1959 Manhattan was a party, and none of the glitterati glittered brighter than Truman Capote. Then he saw a story in The New York Times: "Wealthy Farmer, 3 of Family Slain," and the party ended for Capote. He plunged into the murder case that inspired his great "nonfiction novel" In Cold Blood and led him into a fevered relationship with one of the two doomed killers. But there's more to the story than you know. Toby Jones (as Capote) leads Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Sigourney Weaver and many more stars in a witty, moving and astonishing tale of obsession. What happened to the extraordinary literary talent that burned within Truman Capote? The answer may be found in a story at once famous and Infamous.
Infamous is inevitably compared to Capote, since it also chronicles author Truman Capote's spiral into chaos while composing his masterpiece, In Cold Blood, a breakthrough non-fictional tale told as fiction. It's a shame that Capote's critical acclaim eclipsed this film's, as Toby Jones is perfectly convincing as Capote, with his small stature and eccentric manner. Infamous mimics the novel's fictionalized non-fiction, opening on "interviews" with Capote's New York friends like Diana Vreeland (Juliet Stevenson) and Babe Paley (Sigourney Weaver). The film, set in 1959, begins with Capote's discovery of the farm family murder story and his trek out to Kansas with confidant, Nelle Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock). Stressing Capote's relationships with Lee, the film justifies Capote's marginal behavior by Lee's speaking about Capote's childhood neglect, which she also wrote into To Kill A Mockingbird. Capote's own description of his rough childhood then serves as a barrier breaker between himself and Perry Smith (Daniel Craig), the half of the Perry Smith-Dick Hickock killing team who is at first unwilling to talk. Infamous makes much of the sexual tension between Capote and Smith, implying that Capote persevered through his project for Smith's love. Based on George Plimpton's oral biography, Infamous deserves a stellar place in Capote-lore, as there is ample room for both competing films. --Trinie Dalton
- Commentary by writer/director Douglas McGrath
- Theatrical trailer
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In the book To Kill a Mockingbird , Scout (the protagonist/narrator/author )is a young Harper Lee, Dill is Capote .
In Cold Blood was Capote's last completed work; his relationship with Perry Smith and the depressive nature of producing and finishing (Perry had to die) what Capote considered would be his greatest literary achievement proved to be too much for Capote to was absorb; Capote died within a few yrs of finishing the book, of alcohol related health problems
In my opinion, the actors playing the characters in "Infamous" are better in those roles. Toby Jones is a shorter, funnier, more flamboyant, more believable Truman Capote than the brooding, unfunny late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Daniel Craig as the killer Perry Smith emits both a subtle intelligence and hidden menace which Clifton Collins never projects. Both actors present a heartrending portrait of their character's broken soul rooted in a lonely and abusive childhood. And since I really love Sandra Bullock in anything, she wins as Harper Lee (sorry Catherine Keener).
Both movies have a "with commentary" option; in fact, "Capote" has two. The "Capote" commentaries are the typical useless banter I've come to expect from these special features. "Oh, look at that scene, I love the colors!" "Yes, I remember, how cold it was that day and I forgot my scarf in the trailer" Yada, yada, yawn. Who gives a rat's ass?
In contrast, the fascinating and informative commentary which "Infamous" director Douglas McGrath's provided just about floored me. He had clearly researched his subject matter and offered an encyclopedia of background information and psychological insights into the characters. Since his words drown out 90% of the dialogue, you have to first watch the movie, then watch it again with the director's commentary. It will not be a waste of two hours; I guarantee you`ll get twice as much out of this movie.