- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The legendary Societe Anonyme, founded in Paris in 1920 by artists Katherine Dreier, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, contributed some 1,000 modernist works to the Yale University Art Gallery in 1941. Now, some 130 of these avant-garde works — including paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian — are on view at the Phillips Collection as The Societe Anonyme: Modernism for America, part of a nationwide tour. 1600 21st St. NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, free to visitors 18 and under and museum members. 202/387-2151.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Two biographical dramas about Truman Capote during the time he was researching and writing “In Cold Blood” were in the works more or less simultaneously. “Capote” reached the screen first and won Philip Seymour Hoffman the 2005 Academy Award as best actor. The second entry, Doug McGrath’s Infamous, makes a splendid case for revisiting the subject matter, in part because of a phenomenal performance as Capote by the English actor Toby Jones, who is a ringer for the late author and has a richer characterization to play, which he does brilliantly. The critical ranks are full of people jealously invested in Mr. Hoffman, but it would be foolish to ignore the superiority of Mr. Jones and “Infamous.”

Best known for escorting Gwyneth Paltrow across the threshold of stardom in “Emma,” Mr. McGrath is an experienced writer and humorist. He provides a more detailed and astute depiction of Mr. Capote’s New York literary-social milieu and a far more provocative and compelling dramatization of his attraction to condemned murderer Perry Smith, now a stunning opportunity for Daniel Craig, the next James Bond, to demonstrate his virtuosity. The remarkable ensemble also boasts a stirring performance by Sandra Bullock as author Harper Lee.

— Gary Arnold

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