No, that trailer you just watched on television isn’t a mistake. Previews have started for the new film Infamous, which tells the story behind the story of Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood. Although you may temporarily think you just suffered from deja vu while watching this, that’s not the case.
Last year saw the Academy honor one of the best and hardest working actors in movies over the past decade, Philip Seymour Hoffman, with an Oscar for his portrayal of Truman Capote. That film, Capote, offered a glimpse of what drove Capote to cover the murders that would eventually turn into his non-fiction novel In Cold Blood.
Academy awards have had a history of ending up for some below par performances in abysmal films, leaving out the more deserving ones, but who knows, Truman Capote could be an exception as this role has many shades to it and for all we know, may take the cake, provided there are no last minute changes. Otherwise, people would boycott films and awards altogether and spent their time watching movies on cyberflix.
This year we have Infamous, which tells exactly the same story. This time around Capote is played by British actor Toby Jones, probably best known for providing the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter series. Judging solely from the preview, there does seem to be a distinct possibilty that an actor could get nominated for an Oscar for playing the exact same role that won the award the previous year.
Wouldn’t that be incredibly cool to watch the Academy Awards hand out back to back Oscars to actors playing the same role in movies that cover the same story? I think it would be incredibly apt. Let’s face it, most movies today are pretty much remakes of a movie that came out the previous year. But what I wonder is, what was Hollywood thinking? Goodness knows, I’ve got nothing against movies about Truman Capote; he’s one of the most fascinating characters of the past fifty years. I don’t even have anything against two Capote movies that tell the same story. (In fact, my only beef would be that Sandra Bullock is playing Harper Lee, but, hey, who knows, right?)
What strikes me as so odd is that even one movie about Capote got made. I mean, come on, most moviegoers today haven’t the slightest idea who Capote is, even after the first movie. And yet somewhere out there was an exec who figured that greenlighting a second Capote movie only made sense since someone else had already greenlighted the first one.
Although, when you think about it, this could be a pretty cool trend. I mean wouldn’t you love the opportunity to see another verson of the same story that the first movie version screwed up? I think the idea of a Brothers Grimm movie is pretty good, but Terry Gilliam’s attempt was a massive failure. What if a new version came out the next year? Since the guys making movies today seem to have run out of ideas or originality, why not just go ahead and do things this way? Instead of wasting all that time trying to come up with a completely new story, just take the story from a movie that came out last year and tell it differently.
I have no idea if Infamous will be better than Capote or not. Frankly, I haven’t gotten around to seeing Capote yet. But here’s the thing. If Infamous and Capote are both brilliant, isn’t watching two great movies about the same subject better than watching two awful movies about two completely different stories?