On November 16, 1959, Truman Capote reads about the murder of a Kansas family. There are no suspects. With Harper Lee, he visits the town: he wants to write about their response. First he must get locals to talk, then, after arrests, he must gain access to the prisoners. One talks constantly; the other, Perry Smith, says little. Capote is implacable, wanting the story, believing this book will establish a new form of reportage: he must figure out what Perry wants. Their relationship becomes something more than writer and character: Perry killed in cold blood, the state will execute him in cold blood; does Capote get his story through cold calculation, or is there a price for him to pay? Written by
Truman Capote never saw bloodied mattresses in the Clutter house when he visited the scene of the crimes. The mattresses, bedclothes, sofa and other bloodstained items were burned on Monday 16 November by four friends of Herb Clutter's who volunteered to clean up the house. Capote didn't arrive in Holcomb until several days after the Clutter family's funeral, at the end of that week. See more »
Nelle Harper Lee:
America is not a country where the small gesture goes noticed. We're not a country like France, where charm -- something light or effervescent -- can survive. We want everything you have, and we want it as fast as you can turn it out.
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Infamous has a difficult comparison with the earlier "Capote." Still it is a different view of the same story and characters and is written with more emphasis on the perspectives of those who knew, or thought they knew, Capote. Toby Jones may not fully match the nuanced performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman but he does, possibly, a better imitation of Capote. Infamous has a better known cast of supporting players and they do a creditable job. Sandra Bullock's Harper Lee isn't the quite same as that portrayed so well by Catherine Keener in "Capote" but her character blends perfectly with the tone of "Infamous." Daniel Craig adds another fine acting turn as the "In Cold Blood" killer who receives the most attention. Even Gwyneth Paltrow makes an excellent impression in a brief opening scene as, apparently, singer Peggy Lee. (In the showing I saw, she was introduced as "Kitty Dean???") I wondered why another version of this story was filmed and it may not do well after the success of "Capote" but I was surprisingly entertained and intrigued by this movie.
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