welcome to lobos reviews

title image

Movie Review: Infamous

Alternate Title: What's the Matter With Kansas?

Story: I just reread my own Lobo review of last year's Oscar award winning Capote (Phillip Seymour Hoffmann) and I am repeating some of what I said before (that can't be plagiarizing, can it)? The background story is the same. It is about the 1959 murders of four members of the Kansas Clutter family that not only riveted the nation, but ultimately changed the nature of non-fiction work thanks to the brilliance of Truman Capote. His novel, In Cold Blood was a major hit and made Capote rich and even more famous (and infamous).

Director and writer Douglas McGrath has hit a home run in the very difficult task of having his film released so soon after the award wining Capote. Bravo to him. The screenplay was based on Truman Capote by George Plimpton.

This treatment of the same subject matter had a deeper heart and mood to the story. I connected with the characters in a more emotional way than I did last year. All of the major characters have flaws which make them more human. I think they are terrific companion films and just because you saw last year's film please do not think it is the same thing. The films were made in tandem but were simply released at different times.

Please see it and judge for yourself. It is going on my Lobo's Best List for sure.

Acting: Toby Jones is Capote and is just wonderful in this tortured role. Sandra Bullock is a very believable Harper Lee and it is good to finally see her get out of those awful roles she has been choosing. Daniel Craig (the new James Bond) is one of my favorites and once again he knocks your socks off with his powerful performance. He is fabulous. The ensemble cast, many who are also the talking heads are great too, including: Lee Pace, Peter Bogdanovich, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rossellini and Sigourney Weaver.

Predilection: I like Daniel Craig and was also fascinated by the Clutter murders and story at the time.

Food: Baked potato, sour cream, caviar, meat and gravy and lots and lots of booze.

Soundtrack: Terrific tunes of the times including an older Cole Porte tune, The Twist and songs by Doris Day.

Opening Titles: A very clever entry into the film.

Visual Art: The juxtaposition of the homes in Kansas and the elegant apartments in NYC are terrific.

Theater Audience: About a dozen fans.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Watching the reenactment of the Clutter murders is not easy.

Drift Factor: I did not look at my watch or drift for a second.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: I think there should be some acknowledgment at Oscar time but I doubt that the same theme would be acknowledged again.

Big Screen or Rental: Go for the big screen and treat yourself to some fine movie making. For some of Daniel Craig's other films, try renting: Munich, Layer Cake, Enduring Love, Sylvia, The Mother, Road to Perdition, Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon and The Power of One.

Length: Two hours.