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A Cold Blooded Tale

Mark Tregoweth
Mark Tregoweth

Infamous  *** 1/2

A flamboyant author with a nose for news heads to the American mid west to write about a small town murder.

Set in the ‘60s, Infamous follows the life of Truman Capote and his circle of society friends as he researches and writes his best seller ‘In Cold Blood’.

Based on the 1997 book ‘Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career’ by George Plimpton, the film covers the authors life through the period from the late ‘50s through to the mid-‘60s

The story begins when Capote (Toby Jones) comes across a news story about the murder of a farming family in Holcomb, Kansas.

The murder peaks his interest as he questions its effects on the residents of the town it occurred in and the men who committed the crime.

Keen to delve into the deaths he convinces the New Yorker magazine to commission him to write a feature story about it and then travels to Kansas with his friend and fellow author Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock).

Once in the town the talk of a feature is relegated to the backburner when he realizes there is enough material for a book.

The toast of the town with an active social life in New York, Capote is a fish out of water in the small town with many of the residents confusing him for a women as his dress and demeanor delight and dismay the law and public officials.

On the verge of publishing her own best seller, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee act as a buffer between the diminutive writer and the people he interviews.

When two men are arrested for the murders, Capote is given access to interview them. While they await their trial and subsequent appeals, the bond between the author and the men grows as he gains their trust and enters their inner circle as friend and confidant.

The bond of friendship change as he develops an attachment to one of the killers, Perry (Daniel Craig). With a raft of things in common, Capote struggles to separate his knowledge of the crime with the man he has come to know.

While this film covers familiar territory to 2005’s award winning film ‘Capote’, what it makes it different is its cast and subtle approach to the subject matter.

As Truman Capote, Toby Jones captures the essence of the role but his performance is sadly over shadowed by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar winning take on the character in Capote.

A cast of big name stars, Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini complete the cast in supporting and cameo roles but the standout performance comes from Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee.

Slow in its pace but far from predictable, Infamous mixes moments of mirth with murder and mayhem to create a memorable film.


118 minutes

Warner Brothers DVD

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