The better Capote movie

You probably went to the wrong Capote movie. We realized we did when we saw Infamous (out 2/13 on DVD), which in many ways is a better, certainly more enjoyable film than its Oscar-winning rival.

Don’t get us wrong: We were staggered by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote — but Toby Jones captures Truman Capote’s impishness, his playfulness, his gay flamboyance (and comic, cartoony voice), much more eerily and entertainingly in Infamous. Capote was a self-serious Important Film, but big chunks of Infamous effectively function as crowd-pleasing comedy (a New York freak visits small-town Kansas!).

And the dark dramatics — the improbable love of killer Perry Smith (Daniel Craig, a.k.a. the new James Bond) for Capote — are way more explicit and affecting. Sandra Bullock is (surprise!) really good as Harper Lee. Even a bit of stunt casting — Gwyneth Paltrow (very briefly) as a Peggy Lee–ish chanteuse — just works.

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