Hollywood studios are notorious for liberally borrowing ideas from each other, with the resulting clutch of similarly-themed films often bewildering the public as they try to decide which movie to go and see. In 2005 Bennett Miller directed CAPOTE, an Oscar-winning dramatization of Truman Capote's traumatic experiences writing the celebrated novel IN COLD BLOOD. In 2006 Douglas McGrath (COMPANY MAN) directed INFAMOUS, a movie that follows exactly the same premise. Although it's difficult to see why such a story would need to be immortalized in celluloid for a second time, McGrath does throw in a few tricks to help separate the two films. Talking head interviews with some of Capote's contemporaries, such as Gore Vidal and Babe Paley, are used, and the movie has a lighter--almost comedic at times--feel to it than Miller's movie.
The basic premise of INFAMOUS is exactly the same as that of CAPOTE, so we witness Toby Jones's Capote traveling from New York to Kansas, settling into the town, interviewing the murderers, and developing an obsession with one of them--Perry Smith (Daniel Craig). Despite the similarities, salvation can be found in the performance of Jones, who lights up the screen with a performance that closely rivals Philip Seymour Hoffman's turn as the infamous author. Other notable appearances come from Sandra Bullock, who just about manages to nail Harper Lee; Sigourney Weaver and Isabella Rossellini, who both camp up their roles as socialites; Jeff Daniels as the detective who befriends Capote; and Gwyneth Paltrow, who makes a brief appearance as the singer Peggy Lee.