Politically Correct Spin
Release Date: October 13, 2006
Starring: Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock,
Daniel Craig, Jeff Daniels,
Peter Bogdanovich, Hope Davis,
and Sigourney Weaver
Genre: Biographical Drama
Runtime: 118 minutes
Distributor: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: Douglas McGrath
Executive Producer: John Wells
Producer: Christine Vachon, Jocelyn
Hayes and Anne Walker-McBay
Writer: Douglas McGrath
Address Comments To:Mark Gill, President
Warner Independent Pictures
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
(A Time Warner company)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Like the previous movie, which was simply called CAPOTE, INFAMOUS leads off with a brief intro of Truman Capote's effeminate personality and high-pitched child's voice. Despite his bizarre voice, Capote was able to captivate crowds with his storytelling abilities and wry, often sarcastic and cruel, humor. INFAMOUS shows Capote, played by Toby Jones here, as being a master of getting and spreading gossip.
Capote travels to Kansas with his childhood friend Nelle Harper Lee (played by Sandra Bullock), the author of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. They're off to investigate the murders of the Clutter family for an article. At first, the townspeople and the police chief are put off by Capote's flamboyant nature and his silly-looking outfits. He tones down his outfits, but they still shun him, until they learn that he's worked with many Hollywood celebrities, including Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe. Capote decides that his material on the murders would make a great book, not just a great article. In writing the book, he wants to apply fictional storytelling techniques to a factual story.
Then the two killers, Dick Hickock (Lee Pace) and Perry Smith (Daniel Craig), are caught, and Capote changes the focus of his book. Dick is anxious to tell his story, but Perry is reluctant. Perry pictures himself as an artistic type and is upset by an allegedly vicious interview article that Capote did with Marlon Brando, one of Perry's heroes. It turns out, however, that Perry and Capote have much in common, including Perry's latent homosexuality and the suicides of their respective mothers. The question then becomes, does Capote fall in love with Perry or is he just exploiting Perry in order to finish his explosive book?
INFAMOUS has a more entertaining, though shallow, beginning, but it is not as well done as the earlier movie. The actors do a good job, but they all do not quite match the high standards of CAPOTE. The personal psychology of the characters is not as convincing, either, though the townsfolk's obvious interest in Capote's celebrity stories is, even though it makes the people in Middle America appear somewhat shallow at times.
The Capote in INFAMOUS is more conflicted than the Capote in the earlier movie. Thus, INFAMOUS suggests that, while the execution of the two killers would be a great conclusion to his book, Capote's personal feelings for Perry stand in the way. In that way, INFAMOUS becomes more of a politically correct excuse for Perry and Capote's homosexuality. The movie even suggests that Perry murdered the Clutter patriarch and his son because Dick mocked Perry's alleged homosexual feelings for the two men and goaded Perry into killing them. Thus, homophobia is partly to blame for the brutal deaths of this family, not the perverted sexual desires of the two vicious killers (Richard wanted to rape the daughter, the movie says, but Perry wouldn't let him).
The politically correct Romantic worldview of INFAMOUS ultimately is abhorrent, no matter how artistic the worldview is presented. Not only does it promote homosexuality, it also often makes a joke out of people's interest in the gossip that Capote likes to dish out. Finally, the movie also seems to be against the death penalty, even for vicious murderers.
The Bible not only sees homosexuality as evil, it also supports the death penalty for first-degree murder, which is the intentional, malicious killing of an innocent human being. Some pro-life Christians argue against the death penalty, even for first-degree murder, but they are wrong. In fact, Numbers 35:31 says that the death penalty for convicted murderers in the first degree can never be set aside. Of course, the Bible also says that if someone deliberately convicts an innocent person of first degree murder and that person is put to death, then the person who knowingly convicts and executes such an innocent person is himself guilty of first-degree murder and must also be put to death. Thus, supporting the death penalty for first-degree murder is itself a pro-life position.
Overall, INFAMOUS is a more sympathetic portrait of both Capote and Perry Smith than the previous movie about this subject. As such, it offers viewers a Romantic, politically correct view of homosexuality and brutal murderers on Death Row. Although both movies eventually neglect the crime victims, INFAMOUS comes to immoral conclusions that are reflected by its Romantic worldview. The Clutters, the family that was murdered, deserve better.
INFAMOUS is not as well done as the earlier movie. The actors do a good job but do not match the high standards of CAPOTE. The personal psychology of the characters is not as convincing. Along with plenty of foul language, graphic violence and depicted homosexual behavior, INFAMOUS has a Romantic worldview with a very strong, politically correct view of homosexuality and killers.