Trumbo, despite its blacklist subject matter, keeps things light and irreverent with a wry screenplay, emphasising the absurdity of America’s Communist paranoia post-World War Two.
Bryan Cranston has a whale of a time as Dalton Trumbo, alternately sharing witticisms and demonstrating his ‘stubborn bastard’ streak. It’s fun to see prominent Hollywood figures featured, including gossip queen Hedda Hopper (a tart Mirren) and Dean O’Gorman as an uncanny Kirk Douglas. Others fall slightly wider of the mark like Michael Stuhlbarg’s Edward G. Robinson. Although constrained by its traditional biopic structure, this is a fascinating story worthy of its cinematic treatment.
Deftly handling Hollywood history, and throwing in a good measure of the underdog spirit to be sure, makes Trumbo the film nearly as captivating as Trumbo the screenwriter – and his classics.
CAST: Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K., Diane Lane, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Goodman, Dean O’Gorman
DIRECTOR: Jay Roach
WRITER: John McNamara (screenplay), Bruce Cook (book)
SYNOPSIS: Successful Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Cranston) sees his career fall apart when he refuses to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, consequently being blacklisted and blocked from working in Hollywood for his Communist beliefs.