Authors in Cinema – Capote

“His voice is like what you’d imagine a brocolli to sound like, if a brocolli could talk.”

There’s truth to that in the way Toby Jones plays Truman Capote in the film, Infamous. This quote is said by an actor portraying Gore Vidal, and yes, the voice has its own…um…appeal.

I was never a fan of Capote, the biopic in which the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman played the lead. To me it was as exciting as watching paint dry. Infamous, however, has a lot more charm.

Toby Jones’ high camp performance works in contrast to the conservative suburbanites who warm to him because he constantly namedrops famous movie stars. He enters this world via detective Alvin Dewey, played by Jeff Daniels, who at first refuses to work with him when he requests assistance in writing In Cold Blood, a book about the quadruple murder of one family committed by two men.

There are quite a few notable Hollywood actors in this piece, including Sandra Bullock playing fellow author, Nelle Harper Lee, just after the release of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Apparently many of the scenes are fictional as the film itself is based on the book, Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career by George Plimpton. One of these includes a dramatic sexual encounter between Capote and inmate Perry Smith.

But biopics can’t be all completely factual, and despite several scenes only occuring in Plimpton’s imagination, this movie is as charming as it is compelling.

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