Infamous/Portman

October 25, 2006

 

What is the point of having another film about essentially the same material that was covered in the Oscar winning “Capote” film from a year ago? Does the title “Infamous” really fit the kind of film depicted? Can Gwyneth Paltrow who portrays Peggy Lee in the film sing a standard like “What Is This Thing Called Love”? Is there a country side to Rachel Portman? If you are interested then read on!

“Infamous” (slightly confusing) is a Douglas McGrath directed film which he took and wrote the screenplay based on the George Plimpton book which recounts Truman’s life through a series of 150 interviews. More graphic in parts, it spends more time on the actual relationship between Capote and Smith as well as the hanging sequence along with the actual killing of the Clutter family. The closest parallel to make is the last time there were two films about Wyatt Earp, “Tombstone” and “Wyatt Earp”. Enjoy the opportunity to see both films and their perspective on Truman Capote. “Infamous” stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Sigourney Weaver, Sandra Bullock, Tobey Jones, and Daniel Craig (our new James Bond). Daniel is featured on a song “There’s A Goldmine in the Sky” and he like Gwyneth does a nice job of singing.

The Milan release of the soundtrack is a combination of songs from Johnny Bond (2 numbers), Dusty Springfield, Sarah Vaughan, and Hank Ballard. In addition there is a group the Mark Rubin band that plays “Heartaches” as well as backing up Paltrow on “What Is This Thing Called Love”. Gwyneth has a good voice (much better than I would have guessed) and she performed the Cole Porter standard with a good tempo, and excellent emphasis on the right words. The Rubin arrangement is nothing out of the ordinary, pretty stock but well played. There are two hesitations a bit too long but this must have had something to do with the script within the film itself. Portman was likely chosen to do the score as she and McGrath are not strangers to each other having worked together on “Emma” and “Nicholas Nickleby”. There are (10) Portman score tracks and (3) of them have a country western flavor to them. “La Cote Basque” features guitar with a little tweaking and twang, nice guitar strumming and a good beat to it. The same tune and style is repeated in “Porn Magazines” with the addition of some percussion and a nice violin solo. “Truman Tries Out Lines” is a great venue for a nice country violin solo smooth and relaxing if you enjoy country music. “Truman’s Mother” is a sad almost dirge like track performed by a small chamber orchestra featuring cello and a mourning oboe. “Safe Place” is a track for solo piano and is another quite somber piece consisting of a few very repetitive simple chords but quite effective in its mood. Perry’s theme is featured in “Perry’s Story” with a clarinet lead and harmony by the delicate plucking of the harp. “Friend Truman/End Titles” repeats the Perry theme except it is allowed to be developed a little more fully with more of the chamber orchestra contributing. There is also the addtion of the solo piano with chords a little more complex than “Safe Place”. Overall this is an intimate chamber style work filled with material ranging from bouncy and upbeat to funeral like. With “Lakehouse”, this score, and the soon to be released “Mrs Potter” Rachel has had a nice busy year. Recommended.

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