Here’s a tricky situation: How do you market a movie that is almost guaranteed to provoke people to ask themselves, “Didn’t this come out last year?” That’s the position Warner Independent Pictures finds itself in with the release of Infamous. The movie chronicles author Truman Capote’s research into and writing of his book “In Cold Blood” and examines the New York celebrity world he lived in. Sound familiar? It should since this is the same territory covered by Sony Classics last Fall in their movie Capote, which starred Philip Seymour Hoffman and which won him an Academy Award. Infamous was actually originally intended for release around the same time as Capote but ultimately was pulled. Better to cause some deja vu as opposed to confusion, I suppose.
Infamous stars Toby Jones as Capote and Sandra Bulluck as fellow writer Harper Lee. Once again we track Capote as he investigates the murder of a rural Kansas family by two escaped criminals. The story intrigues him and pulls him away from the high-society life he lives to find out what brought to commit such crimes. Of course, Capote, a short, effeminate homosexual from New York, does not exactly blend into the Heartland, a fact that hampers his research to some extent.
You can tell from the poster that, despite the identical subject matter, the tone of the movie is going to be a bit different. Where the Capote poster was monochromatic, austere and featured Hoffman standing in a farm field, this one is a bit more flashy. It shows Jones’ face with a world of beautiful, infamous (sorry) and interesting people circling around him. It shows how this movie will focus more on that New York lifestyle he lives as opposed to being solely about his travels and research. It’s also a better mechanism for spotlighting the all star cast that appears in the movie. Jones also looks much more flamboyant and less dour than Hoffman did. Overall it does a very good job of differentiating this movie from the previous Capote flick.
The trailer is pretty much just what you’d expect from the poster and and once again clearly positions Infamous as being a different movie from Capote. Jones cuts a much more mannered portrait of Capote as opposed to Hoffman’s mostly internalized performance. I really don’t have much to add since the trailer does the same things as the poster does and in the same manner. Good stuff.
The best parts of the official website are definitely the Production Notes and the Gallery.Â The Prod Notes are lengthy, detailed and really enhance the reader’s understanding of the world of the movie quite a bit. The rest of the website is pretty standard, if dressed up a bit nicer than usual, but the Production Notes are fantastic and I love the design of the Gallery and how it starts off as a wall of portraits. Very nice design.
The rest of the site is fairly standard in content though very well laid out. You get the usual Cast & Crew bios and backgrounders and Downloads. Multimedia is a tad redundant since all that’s in there is the trailer and right next to it on the menu is the Trailer. The only difference is that when you click the Trailer link you get a pop-up stand-alone player.
As I said, the movie had one major factor going for it as a differentiator between it and Capote: It’s focus on the New York life lead by the characters. Fortunately it plays that up to tremendous effect. Everything about the campaign brings you into the world of nightclubs, starlets, unfulfilled society women and the other aspects of Capote’s life. It works very well at being different enough from its predecessor to generate interest among fans of the first movie.