Anyone interested in the story behind 'In Cold Blood' and Truman Capote should see 'Infamous', even if - especially if - they have already seen 'Capote'.
I was blown away by 'Infamous': it is an excellent movie of how the novel 'In Cold Blood' came about. Toby Jones gave a far more convincing performance of Truman Capote than Philip Seymour Hoffman's over-stylised effort. Toby Jones brought a verisimilitude to the character that went far deeper than his superficial physical resemblance (stature, broad forehead) and very effective rendition of the high-pitched voice. In his mannerisms, ways in which he wore the costumes, in his relationships with his female friends, from the genuine and close bond with Nelle Harper Lee to the New York society women of fashion, Toby Jones fully realised Capote's character in a way Hoffman could never do, and showed what an excellent and overlooked actor he is. This was a perfect part for him and it is very disappointing that he did not receive more recognition, not even a BAFTA or an Oscar nod. Sandra Bullock, also, proved her worth in her role as Harper Lee, carefully underplaying the part, assuming the walk and gestures and unassuming manner we have seen in the rare footage of Lee in documentaries. The film manages to convey the horror of the real crime while maintaining the fiction, even exaggerating a few details for effect, such as the sexual frisson between Perry Smith (a subtle performance from Daniel Craig, looking very different from James Bond, especially as his eye colour was changed) and Capote. All credit also to the supporting cast: Sigourney Weaver as Babe Paley, Hope Davis as Slim Keith, Juliet Stevenson as Diana Vreeland, even Gwyneth Paltrow as Kitty Dean alias Peggy Lee. Jeff Daniels was great as the police chief Dewey. These stalwarts added credibility to the leads of Jones and Bullock, and made the whole into a very satisfying movie.
This film has been grossly underrated and it is a great pity it was overwhelmed by the much less stimulating 'Capote', the latter's pace much slower and deliberate than 'Infamous' but not half so subtle. 'Infamous' almost works like a very well-worked out stage play, with carefully drawn scenes, perfected in style and content, with superb sets and costumes. 'Capote' crams too much into the film and drags scenes out at the same time. 'Infamous' keeps the plot straightforward, and relies on the conceit of 'interviews' with The New York jet set, and brief social scenes cleverly authenticating the story which is of course, both fiction and non-fiction. Comparisons between the two films are inevitable - and there are many similarities, particularly of dialogue - but 'Infamous' is an entertaining, informative, and effective film. 'Capote' is over-stylised, tedious, and plodding. 'Infamous' is better.