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
Douglas McGrath heard a story about the real Diane Vreeland making her maid iron the money. He liked that so much, that he included it in the movie. See more »
Perry is depicted as being substantially taller than Truman when in reality they were roughly the same height. This may have been done purposely to give Perry a more intimidating presence next to the frailness of Capote. See more »
Perhaps I should say Yet Another Comparison. I just watched Infamous last night and was so pleased I watched Capote tonight. Last night I was left surprised and thinking, tonight I was left sleepy and disappointed. Capote was so busy with trying to create atmosphere and style it never developed the characters with anywhere near the depth that Infamous did so briefly and elegantly. The solid character development in Infamous was due to much better casting all around as well as a much more alive script with rich, layered dialog. I was impressed by all the performances in Infamous, even the usually commercially thin Sandra Bullock who, sans make-up, appears as real and convincing as I've ever seen her. By the way, who did the singing for Gwyneth Paltrow? If it was her, she may have missed her true calling. Capote on the other hand, most (almost all) of the characters were presented as thin, stock characters used to push the story along, as well as manipulate your emotions. As a side note, I'm usually a big fan of almost all instrumental soundtracks but the repetitive piano chords replayed over and over in Capote, an obvious and flaccid attempt to create a gloomy, heavy mood, became a distracting annoyance after the umpteenth time. By the end of Capote I was bored and distracted and felt that the obvious attempt to manipulate me as an audience member failed. I also felt detached and uninterested in all the characters, nothing had happened to give me a sense of their unique humanness or that most of them were real. Infamous on the other hand, I found to be one of the most intriguing and touching love stories I have seen in quite a long time. I happen to be a straight male who usually sees most theatrical (and public) displays of love as false, unconvincing and badly clichéd. Toby Jones and Daniel Craig were both very much alive and the love they created fascinating. And though they were of characters that I would not think I could find so interesting and feel so much for, a psychotic criminal and a gay society party boy, I was nevertheless quite touched by their love and seriously saddened by its tragedy. I was finally able to realize very clearly after Infamous why Truman Capote slowly self destructed after writing "In Cold Blood". It did the job of top notch cinema and art, it changed my perspective on many points. To paraphrase the Perry Smith character from Infamous, it had the most important element to writing and a great story: kindness.
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