INFAMOUS: AN UNFORTUNATE CASE OF DEJA VU
Douglas McGrath’s Infamous had the unlucky timing of coming out after the film Oscar winning Capote came out with Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is sad because Toby Jones who plays Truman Capote in this version is just as good as Hoffman. Sandra Bullock’s Harper Lee even one ups Catherine Keener’s. The movie shows more of the high society that Capote was a part of. And the relationship between Truman and Perry Smith goes is delved into even deeper. But again, it is the victim of poor timing.
Truman Capote (Toby Jones) is a member of New York’s high society because of his “Swans”. He knows how to get what he wants. His closest gal pal is author Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock) of To Kill a Mockingbird Fame. He comes across the murder of a wealthy Kansas family in the news and it intrigues him. He decides to go to Kansas to write an article for The New Yorker. The story becomes the basis for his acclaimed novel In Cold Blood. He develops a relationship with murderer Perry Smith. This relationship changes both men’s lives.
This story is very dark. Its hero (if you could call him that) is not likeable. He is manipulative and calculating but also charming. He is shown as a pet to these snotty New York women who use him for gossip. Story almost mirrors 2005’s Capote. One asks why does someone do that? Why not try a different angle, maybe from Harper Lee’s perspective. But the cast of Infamous is star packed. Sigourney Weaver, Daniel Craig, Jeff Daniels, and Isabella Rosellini are all a part of this ensemble cast. Gwyneth Paltrow even shows up in a singing cameo. Toby Jones is more over the top with his Truman imitation, making him a bit more aggressive. Bullock’s Harper Lee is relatable. The wardrobe of the ladies standout and reflect the times. There is Harper Lee with her drab clothes and white ankle socks. The outrageous dresses of the upper class women are a sight. Don’t miss Isabella Rosellini’s dress during the dinner party scene towards the end.
Truman has a lover in this film to expand more into his personal life. Instead of seeing more into his personality, you see a whiny man who pouts because he has to share Truman. His character was unnecessary.
Infamous is a good movie with a talented cast. Its too bad Capote and Philip Seymour Hoffman beat them to the punch.