Wednesday, January 31, 2007

INFAMOUS

It's a strange experience watching INFAMOUS; it's like watching a remake of a movie that was just made. (It tells the exact same story as CAPOTE did last year.) Each movie has its points, but CAPOTE is the better film. It is better written and, in particular, the last act stands up much more powerfully.

In INFAMOUS, Toby Hall plays a different and perhaps better version of Capote than Philip Seymour Hoffman did. He looks much more like him, and sounds like him without sounding like an impression. INFAMOUS deals with his sexuality more honestly, but CAPOTE did a better job showing his difficulties writing the novel. Sandra Bullock gives the best performance of her career as Harper Lee... perhaps even better than Katherine Keener.

But where INFAMOUS falls apart is in the character of Perry Smith, played by Daniel Craig (who was fantastic in CHILDREN OF MEN and very good in CASINO ROYALE). The character in this film is explained as being in love with Capote, which is hard to believe, and which demystifies the character. Craig's performance is nowhere near as fluid ss Clifton Collins in CAPOTE (or even Robert Blake).

Still, it's an interesting viewing, and should make for great fodder for comparative film classes.

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