In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
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
In a scene where Harper Lee and Capote are eating in Kansas, there is a menu with prices in the background. It includes a hamburger for $ 2.25. That is well above, more than double, the price of a hamburger meal in Kansas at the end of the fifties. See more »
Artists have the power, through our imagination to escape and degenerate world and create a better one.
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This film will inevitably invite comparison with "Capote." Unfortunately, that comparison is unfavorable, although I probably would regard this film more highly if "Capote" had never been made. Whereas "Capote" raised serious ethical issues about a writer who needed his subjects to die in order to complete his book, this film never rises above the level of entertainment. That having been said, the film is still quite entertaining.
Toby Jones' portrayal of Capote will also invite comparison with Philp Seymour Hoffman's. Jones looks more like Capote than Hoffman and appears to be about Capote's size, but Hoffman's acting is better. With both portrayals, I found myself at times thinking that I was looking at the real Capote. Hoffman's portrayal is more three dimensional and brings out Capote's dark, ruthless, and manipulative side. Jones' portrayal is more of a caricature, overdoing the gay stereotypes to the point of swishiness. His Capote seems more desperate in getting Perry Smith to continue talking to him. In "Capote," Capote was clearly in control of Smith. In "Infamous," Smith is in control of Capote.
Probably the film's most egregious blunder is casting the tall and muscular Daniel Craig as Perry Smith. Smith appears to be about a foot taller than Capote, when in reality Smith was about 5'2" tall, about the same height as Capote. This was what in fact led to their bonding with each other, two little guys against the world.
You won't go wrong watching this film, and you won't be bored. But you won't be much beyond entertained. By the way, exactly what does the title refer to? Who is infamous, Capote, the killers, or the murder itself?
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