Infamous is a quality film about Truman Capote's drawn-out affair at creating his bestselling crime novel In Cold Blood. Toby Jones delivers a superb performance as Capote, and Signourey Weaver, Sandra Bullock, Gwenyth Paltrow and Daniel Craig make up the supporting cast. There is just one small problem with Infamous, however: the exact same movie was released a year earlier.
You may have heard of it. It was called Capote and starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, who went on to win an Academy Award for his portrayal of the famous author. Those are hard shoes to fill.
Infamous is nearly the same in every shape and form, except it feels like a smaller film with bigger actors. The plot starts and ends the same way, and focuses heavily on the relationship between Capote and one of his novel's real-life killers (played by Craig). At the same time, the movie is also about Capote's questionable motives in regards to this relationship: does he truly care for this man, or is he just using him to get a story?
Infamous has all the same flaws that Capote had - it is slow in parts and not captivating all the time - but also isn't quite as powerful as its alter ego. Capote emphasized the blurry line that Capote was walking in terms of befriending a man on death row, where Infamous tends to lean toward a more emotional relationship between the two men - which isn't nearly as interesting.
Still, the only real problem with Infamous is that it didn't come first. Jones is terrific as Capote, and nearly on par with Hoffman's Oscar-winning performance. If you had to choose, I would say watch Capote over Infamous, and if you do that, there's no point in watching the same movie twice.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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