Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Compare and contrast, that favourite exam question formula, could well be applied to the two films about Capote. Capote of a couple of years ago and, currently screening, the equally absorbing Infamous.

Roger Hall has been to see the movie, INFAMOUS.

If you’ve seen Amazing Grace, and noted the short and repellent Duke, played by Toby Jones, well here is the actor again, being equally short and almost as repellant in what must be the role of his life. His bad luck is that Philip Seymour Hoffman go there first and got an Oscar for it.
Infamous is made with a smaller budget, but has a lot of cameo performances from many fine actors, notably Juliet Stevenson and Sigourney Weaver, but poor Sandra Bullock, as Harper Lee, gets little chance to shine with the script she is given. (And why, in this version isn’t Harper Lee’s success with To Kill a Mocking Bird even mentioned? In Capote, Hoffman, consumed with envy and having to stand by and watch a friend get all the attention, growls “I don’t know what all the fuss is about.”)
Big bonus in this is Daniel Craig as one of the killers, presumably on a pre-Bond salary.
There is a lovely scene in which a farmer stands in a field and talks about the murder victims and how life can so quickly change and undo us.
Am I wrong, or is it mainly gay writers get films made about them? Nearly fifty years ago, there were two movies made about Oscar Wilde at the same time (Peter Finch and Robert Morley both played Oscar if memory serves). Maybe gay writers simply produce the best lines…?

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