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Posted October 1, 2010
Dissecting the Enigma that was Truman Capote
INFAMOUS is a brilliant adaptation by writer/director Douglas McGrath of the 'infamous' George Plimpton book 'Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career'. What McGrath has gleaned from this resource book is a story that better than any other lets us understand the bizarre personality of Truman Capote (an extraordinary performance by Toby Jones whose films have included The Painted Veil, Elizabeth I, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Finding Neverland, Ladies in Lavender, etc), from his early successes as a writer ('Breakfast at Tiffany's') through his countless acquaintances with the glitterati of the world to his ultimate obsession with the Kansas Clutter family murders that served as the matrix for his final volume 'In Cold Blood' and the demise of his career and life. McGrath understands Capote's aura and lets us watch it in the early on camera 'interviews' with important people who knew him. We meet Babe Paley (Sigourney Weaver), Diana Vreeland (Juliet Stevenson), Gore Vidal (Michael Panes), Slim Keith (Hope Davis), Bennett Cerf (Peter Bogdanovich), Marella Agnelli (Isabella Rossellini), and his longtime partner Jack (John Benjamin Hickey). Each gives us a vignette of a side of Capote's genius and caricature of genius, but it is not until Capote and Babe sit in a nightclub hearing songstress Kitty Dean (Gweneth Paltrow in a small but surely one of her very finest roles) sing and breakdown in her version of 'What is this thing called love?' that the story itself begins. From that point on McGrath has a firm handle on the story we all know well. The Clutter family murder in Kansas in 1959 as a small article in the newspaper captures Capote's eye and imagination: he decides to write an article on the response of the citizens of a small town to the heinous act. He talks his close friend, novelist Nelle Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock) whose novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is all the rage but she is now in writer's block, to accompany him to Kansas to interview the townspeople. Capote's flamboyant appearance and demeanor and voice are off putting to the townsfolk until Capote and Lee break a barrier with the sheriff (Jeff Daniels) and his wife and become a sought after dinner guest pair. Then the killers are captured: Dick Hickock (Lee Pace) and Perry Smith (Daniel Craig in one his finest cinematic roles to date), and the flavor of Capote's concept changes dramatically. Gradually Capote gains access to speaking with the two killers and decides his intended 'article' has become a book. His interviews with both Hickock and Perry feed his imagination and flurry, but it is his bonding with Perry that opens the gates of mutual self confession and shared understanding of not dissimilar backgrounds: Capote and Perry fall in love. Once the trial is over and the two killers are condemned to hang, Capote returns to Kansas as the victims' invited presence at their hanging: much of what Capote needs to finish his book is dependent on their death and he longs for Perry to ask the world's forgiveness as the pinnacle for his book. Capote's book is published and becomes an international best seller, but Capote sinks into alcohol, drugs and oblivion until his death. We are spared all this by McGrath's once again allowing the interviewees to speak, especially the damaged and tender Nelle Harper Lee. And the film evaporates into myth. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel keenly photographs this inordinately strong cast as well as is the vast landscape of Kansas. Rachel Portman provides her most original and successful musical score to date to conjure the moodiness of the tale. Toby Jones is magnificent as Truman Capote, delivering the kind of career making performance that comes along only rarely. This is an intelligent script, well directed, and splendidly executed and deserves at least as much attention as the much lauded CAPOTE that probably prevented the success of INFAMOUS in the th
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Posted October 1, 2010
Infamous with Daniel Craig
Wouldn't have bought this movie if Daniel Craig hadn't been in it. Was quite surprised to love it as much as I did. Not only was Daniel great as Perry Smith, the murderer, but, Toby Jones was great as Truman Capote. Hadn't thought I could care in the least about Capote as a person, but, did so after watching this movie. <BR/> As a woman, the major shock for me was to find that a kiss between 2 men (Truman & Perry) could be so sensuous! That Daniel could play such rough scenes as when he nearly raped Capote in his cell to the the tender kiss between them later shows his wide range of acting skills. Which also showed what a torn, confused person the killer Perry Smith was. Highly recommend you watch this movie. Also, Daniel Craig's other movies & TV shows are great. Welcome to the USA Daniel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2008
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