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April 2, 2007 | by  | in Music |
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Infamous

World Cinema Showcase 2007: Paramount April 3,8

All the reviews of this film have said that there is no point in comparing Infamous with Capote (last year’s film about the exact same topic), which is good because I haven’t seen the latter.

Infamous is the story of the six years it took Truman Capote to write In Cold Blood. This is a version of Capote that is full of humor and wit, capable of telling engaging stories that make people want to be close to him.

Always having the best gossip while being a good listener made him the darling of the socialite scene. His best and only non-socialite friend is Nelle Harper Lee (the author of To Kill a Mockingbird), played brilliantly by Sandra Bullock (however strange that sounds).

As Capote commences his research into the murder of a family in a small town Kanas, so begins the painful and dark journey many believe is responsible for making In Cold Blood his last completed book. Much of the research is focused on the interviews with one of the two murderers, Perry Smith. The contrast between Capote’s life in New York and Perry’s life growing up in the rural south could not be sharper.

Nevertheless, these two complex and misunderstood men form a bond. The relationship Capote builds with Perry is truly complex. Perry’s feelings for Capote waver between disdain and respect, to hatred and finally love. Conversely, we see Capote manipulate so many people we cannot tell what he really feels for Perry.

They are so many interesting relationships between Capote and the host of characters that inhabit his life. The most important is with Perry, but his closeness with Harper Lee is just as rewarding, while his partying socialite friends stand out against the darkness of the films topic. This is a multifaceted film about very intricate relationships, which make this Hollywood rarity a must see film.

DOUGLAS McGRATH

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