This film tells the story of notorious American writer Truman Capote and his journey in composing his most celebrated book 'In Cold Blood', a non-fiction account of the brutal murders of the Clutter family in Kansas in 1959. 

Indeed, to many filmgoers this narrative may seem all too familiar to one of last year's most memorable films, 'Capote'. It was directed by Bennett Miller and earned Philip Seymour Hoffman Best Actor at the Oscars for his portrayal of the famed novelist. 

To be blunt, 'Infamous' tells the same story and it is quite a wonder that both films came into being within 12 months of each other. In assessing director Douglas McGrath's 'Infamous' it is difficult to refrain from alluding to its predecessor. 

They both introduce the protagonist in his high society abode and follow him on his journey to Kansas to investigate the murders. They both show the development of his relationship with murderer Perry Smith (Craig) and the agonising moral dilemma he faced inside his own head with not wishing his friend to die and his thirst to finish the story. 

However, there are differences that set these films apart and the devil is in the details. 

The casting of Toby Jones as Truman Capote is one such nuance. Although he looks and sounds the part, he fails to encapsulate either the spirit or the emotional excursion of the writer. For the most part he comes across as more annoying than charismatic or engaging. 

It is not his liability alone, as the film itself does little to establish Capote as a formidable character. Too many dramatic tensions are all too often disrupted between scenes with lacklustre comedy. Indeed, it is here where the film seems to metaphorically fall between two stools. 

'Infamous' is based on a biography of Truman Capote in which many of his high society friends of the time give their thoughts on the writer and unfortunately the film is interrupted with mock interviews from the characters throughout. 

Although this film pales in comparison to its predecessor, it still has a few redeeming qualities. Sandra Bullock puts in an excellent understated performance as the novelist Harper Lee and Daniel Craig keeps the audience on his side for the most part in the role of Perry Smith.

However, the tone of the film does not fit well with the subject and one certainly feels the anguish felt by Capote in wanting this story to come to an end.  

David McDonnell