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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fame and infamy make close bedfellows
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...
Published on 28 Mar 2011 by J. Scott-mandeville

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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Capote' not 'Infamous'
There were two films about Truman Capote that were released in fairly quick succession. The first was 'Capote', in 2005, followed by this one - 'Infamous' a few months later in 2006. Both attempted to cover Truman's preparations for the writing of his hugely successful 'factual' novel 'In Cold Blood'.

Both tread the same path more or less, and even share the...
Published on 25 July 2009 by Vitamino


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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fame and infamy make close bedfellows, 28 Mar 2011
By 
J. Scott-mandeville "jackie veronica" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
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.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judged solely on its own merits, an excellent film, 6 Jun 2007
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I went into this film with only the most basic knowledge about Truman Capote and his writing. I knew he wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood, the latter of which was based on a real crime, I knew he was as exceedingly odd little man, and that's about it. I've never read any of his work, and I haven't seen the film In Cold Blood or 2005's Capote. As I first began watching Infamous, I found myself wondering how I could possibly sit through almost two hours of a film about this dandyish, hopelessly pretentious man smarming his way through New York high society. His incredibly annoying voice didn't help, even though it was nowhere near as bothersome as Sandra Bullock's horrible fake Southern accent in her role as Harper Lee. As the film progressed, though, this strange little man began to grow on me. By the mid-way point, I was pretty much engrossed in the story, and the ending clinched all five of the stars I have to give this film (which is pretty amazing given the fact that it includes three of my least favorite actresses: Gwyneth Paltrow, Sigourney Weaver, and the aforementioned Sandra Bullock).

Obviously, Truman Capote is one of the most complex and fascinating of men. I certainly won't define the man by the interpretation on display in Infamous (which is based on Douglas McGrath's 1997 oral biography of the man); after all, this is a fictionalized story of a man known for his own obfuscations with the truth. You can't even look at In Cold Blood with purely objective eyes because Capote relied on memory rather than notes to produce the book. And, from what I gather, 2005's Capote provides a noticeably different perspective on the man as it tells basically the same story as Infamous, focusing on the writing and later publication of In Cold Blood. One thing I am sure of is that Toby Jones turns in an absolutely captivating performance as this most inscrutable of characters. Capote seemed like such a fake in the early scenes, but Toby Jones transformed him into an incredibly human soul long before the end credits began rolling - sympathetic to a significant degree, as some of the flaws in Capote's character manifest themselves, but not without his own emotionally cold-blooded moment here and there. If nothing else, this Truman Capote is not a man you would want to confide in with your darkest secrets.

Infamous gets pretty emotionally complicated once Capote finally gets access to both killers, especially a reluctant Perry Smith (Daniel Craig). It's a bumpy ride, but the relationship that develops between Smith and Capote serves as the lynchpin of this film. Infamous dares call it love, although I imagine that is debatable. Clearly, though, the two men understood one another in ways few others ever did, and that makes the drama of the concluding scenes truly palpable.

I find it somewhat ironic that the actual murder that gave rise to In Cold Blood and these two recent films about Truman Capote doesn't seem to generate much interest at all. Capote, both the myth and the man, towers over his subject matter. I certainly don't feel as if I know the real Truman Capote after watching this film, but I'm intrigued enough to go and seek out 2005's Capote and see the story of In Cold Blood told from an alternate viewpoint.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More memorable than "Capote", 25 May 2008
This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I watched "Capote" a few months ago and forgot it almost immediately. Like most Oscar-winners, with the notable exception of "Crash", it was something of an effort. I watched "Infamous" mainly as an exercise in comparison and found it far more memorable, although admittedly this may be due in some part to Capote's more sympathetic and likeable portrayal. I've never seen footage of the real Capote so I can't comment on whose performance was "better" but Toby Jones' is certainly the more colourful, extreme and entertaining, less sneering than Hoffman's interpretation. Undoubtedly condecension WAS a significant element of Capote's personality, as even Infamous' writer refers to it in his commentary. It's therefore interesting that he chose to play it down in his version.
I was drawn into "Infamous" from the first scene and it held my attention pretty much throughout. Sandra Bullock continues to prove there's more to her than cute and dizzy rom-com queen and I believe it's already a matter of record that the Bond franchise was lucky to score an actor of Daniel Craig's ability.
Well worth a watch.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alabama Burning, 2 Jan 2011
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Truman Capote would doubtless have been pleased to have two such formidable actors as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toby Jones playing him. Once again (for the third time?) we are in Kansas dealing with the murder (in cold blood) of the Clutter family. In this version the murder is just a brief episode in a series of well-constructed vignettes: Capote in New York Society; Capote in the heartland of an essentially decent and welcoming America (Jeff Daniels playing splendidly here); Capote in the belly of the beast with the killers; and the strange combination with Harper Lee - neither of them ever to write a greater work than TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD or IN COLD BLOOD. But then INFAMOUS is not just about a killing that made a commercial killing but about fame and how it is pursued; Daniel Craig's character showing the other end of the stick to that process. I enjoyed it greatly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toby Jones shines as Capote., 23 Mar 2008
This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Toby Jones was superb in this film, and I'm not saying that just because I'm English! He brought the character to life, and I've seen clips of the real Capote on YouTube. You could see, as his meetings with Perry progressed, how troubled and disturbed he became - just like Capote in real life. I loved this film and watched it again and again, deriving little extra bits of pleasure each time. Poor Sandra Bullock had her work cut out bringing Nelle Harper Lee to life, but did a good job with the material she had. I liked Jeff Daniels as a smiling, head in the clouds, Alvin Dewey and Bethlyn Gerard was a delight also, as his wife, especially in that scene where Capote begins to open up about the famous people he had met. The film deals with the same horrific murders as CAPOTE but the emphasis was always on the Capote character in INFAMOUS and this, I think, made it a much better movie. Buy it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific piece of acting!, 28 Mar 2011
By 
A.McGrath - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I'll keep it short, Toby Jones should have won an Oscar for this! Contrast his performance with Philip Seymour Hoffman's in Capote, who ironically did win the Oscar! Not that I think Capote is a bad film, however I think this is much better. If you haven't seen Truman Capote try, Murder By Death 1976, to see just how good Jones' performance was.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Capote" 0 - "Infamous" 1, 28 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I, like pretty much everyone else in the world, only thought there was one film out about Truman Capote and the writing of 'In Cold Blood' - 'Capote'. The films are very similar, have an almost identical storyline, but somehow where it matters they are quite different. While 'Capote' shies away from Capote's sexuality, 'Infamous' does not, choosing to believe that there was a bit of a romance between Truman and Perry. The casting was interesting; Toby Jones is perfect as Capote, and gives Philip Seymour Hoffman a run for his money (and personally I thought he was brilliant and his Oscar well-deserved); but Daniel Craig as Perry is just tooth-grindingly horrible casting. He is so obviously wrong for the part; Perry was half Native American, short and crippled; instead they got some huge hulking figure of health to play him! Craig does a very good job, but he just doesn't look that part, and that's really my only gripe with this film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a shame, 29 May 2008
This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
that Capote with Philip Seymour Hoffman (I'm normally a fan) was ever made. Toby Jones is perfect. I couldn't understand a word PSH said and found the whole film very irritating. Infamous is a delight
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infamous. Insightful. Indulgent., 7 April 2011
By 
This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Despite being fairly well received by the critics, I fear this film did not receive the public acknowledgement it deserved, perhaps due to the rather niche subject. A beautifully shot and intricately constructed semi-fictional biopic about the life and character of Truman Capote. A conrnucopia of A-Listers grace the cast-list, but none other than the little known Toby Jones manages to encapsulate the viewer with such an empathetic and well-sculpted performance. Toby Jones seemed to be born for this role, he transforms himself, voice, mannerisms and all, into the colourful character that is Truman Capote, indeed 'infamous' in his time for his flamboyance and deviance. From the moment we see Jones' performance we are instantly connected to Capote, amazed and excited by his world. A great starter for anyone new to the genius of Capote, or even the well-ripened well-read fan.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be famous, the film that is., 3 Jan 2010
By 
L. Norris (southern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Infamous [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
A much better biopic covering the 5 years of Truman Capote's life dedicated to the writing of "in cold blood", the fantastic non-fiction novel.
Toby Jones portrays Capote in the way he was, Bitchy, flamboyant and the centre of attention where ever he was, much unlike Phillip Seymore Hoffmans dull, lifeless and rather depressing depection, not sure why he got the oscar.
As far as the film itself goes, this is the more historically accurate, with the years and times events occurred all fitting together. It is the more fast paced of the two and benefits from this, as it never seems to lag or get boring.

All in all a great cast and crew put together a fantastic movie, and if it sparks more interest in the author, then it is a well spent 2 hours of anyone's time.
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Infamous [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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