- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2006 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 10/26/06
It's got to be difficult for the filmmakers behind Infamous, the new film about Truman Capote and the writing of In Cold Blood. When they started on their film, they had no idea director Bennett Miller was already at work on a movie about the same famous writer, and the same period of his life. So, now that Miller's movie is a part of Oscar history, what chance do they have of creating a stir with their own film?
According to critics, there are plenty of reasons why viewers should go out of their way to see this Capote movie too.
First, there's Toby Miller, who plays Capote. He's earning some rave reviews, in spite of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-winning work last year.
Then there's the fact that this one, while not as dark and deep, is entertaining, colorful, funny, and well-cast. That shouldn't surprise viewers who have seen other films by director Douglas McGrath (Nicholas Nickelby, Emma).
Harry Forbes (Catholic News Service) writes, "Capote overall had a more serious tone, while Infamous is leavened with humor. Jones—supported by McGrath's script—gives a comic touch to Capote. … The narrative's sordid elements will not be to every taste, and some may feel once is enough, but for others Infamous is rewarding viewing."
Frederica Matthewes-Green (Frederica.com, originally published in The National Review) says, "Capote was tough on Capote's flaws: his self-absorption, his unending vanity, his flippancy, his capacity to wound. … People who prefer Infamous will say that it is funnier (that's true) as well as warmer, but to my mind it misses its goal, and the warmth comes across as gushing affection." She argues that the characters here have been turned into "big fat caricatures. … They're often engaging … but so cartoonishly mannered that they have little credibility."
Mainstream critics are having a grand time comparing the two films, and while they still admire Capote, they're thankful for Infamous as well.