Director: Douglas McGrath
Although made around the same time, Infamous suffered the misfortune of being released after the Academy Award winning Capote, thus by the time it debuted, most audiences weren’t all that interested in revisiting Truman Capote’s writing of the legendary In Cold Blood. However, Infamous is an entirely different film—glitzy and glamorous, the cast is bursting at the seams with Hollywood stars such as Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee, Gwyneth Paltrow (in a brief cameo), Isabella Rossellini, Daniel Craig, Sigourney Weaver, Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and Peter Bogdanovich. Whereas Capote was filmed with a darker palette, Infamous is colorful, vibrant and filled with emotion as well as an added emphasis on the frivolity of the life of Capote back in New York with gossip and ladies who lunch. While both films feature the story of the horrible slayings of the rural farm family in Kansas and Capote and Harper Lee’s efforts to learn more for In Cold Blood, this film goes further into depth in regards to Capote’s life (featuring the stars in confessional docudrama styled one-on-one approaches to the camera) and a more pronounced gay subtext between Capote and killer Perry Smith. Although Phillip Seymour Hoffman rightfully earned an Academy Award for his fine portrayal, Toby Jones is wonderful as well—taking Capote even further into the campier depiction we remember from footage of the era. Based on George Plimpton’s biography of Truman Capote, Infamous makes an excellent addition to the previous film in getting a better understanding of the man prior to In Cold Blood and how the book affected his life as well, as the film notes that Capote was never able to produce another major work following its publication.