Review: Infamous

Filed under: Reviews

In show business, as in life, timing is everything: last year we were watching Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote in Capote. Here we are, a year later, watching Toby Jones as Truman Capote in Infamous. So, the comparisons are unavoidable.

As a movie, Infamous is better. The only drawback is Jones. I never got the impression he was Capote. He was acting. Hoffman became him.

Infamous obviously had a much bigger budget and the cast is impressive: Sandra Bullock as "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee. Sigourney Weaver as Babe Paley, the wife of CBS-TV head Bill Paley. Isabella Rossellini is there, as is Peter Bogdanovich, Hope Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow in a cameo as singer Peggy Lee, Jeff Daniels as Police Chief Dewey, and future James Bond Daniel Craig.

Like Capote, this movie focuses on what inspired the book "In Cold Blood". Two young men, in a botched robbery, murder four members of a farm family in Kansas. Capote is obsessed with the story and the killers " especially Perry, the smarter one, the one who seems to be better educated, the one with feelings. After all, he didn't want his partner to rape one of the murder victims.

Daniel Craig plays Perry and he's terrific. Through a series of flashbacks we learn a great deal about Perry, but I didn't leave the movie any more educated about Truman Capote. He died in 1984, about a month before his 60th birthday.

It's hard to tell how this movie will do at the box office. Too bad it didn't come out before the other one.

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