Directly after World War II, it wasn’t a bad thing to believe in Communism in America. In fact, it wasn’t until American politicians created the fear in the public eye that Communists were persecuted for the way they thought. Trumbo is the story of Hollywood movie writer Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) who was blacklisted for being a member of the communist party in America during the 1950s. Dalton Trumbo is praised as being one of the best movie writers in history and even won 2 Academy Awards while on the blacklist.
Trumbo is a straight and narrow biography about the period in history when Dalton Trumbo and the Hollywood 10 were blacklisted for their communist beliefs. Bryan Cranston in the lead role is superb and does a brilliant job. He becomes the character and is, at times, unrecognizable in his portrayal. The supporting cast around Cranston (Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K., John Goodman, Elle Fanning, Alan Tudyk and Michael Stuhlbarg) is also top notch. There are so many actors that lend their talents to this movie and everyone makes the movie that more interesting and educational. As a fan of movies and its history, watching Trumbo was something of a documentary in my eyes. The setting, costumes, and make-up are also aspects of the movie that make the 1950s come to life. I always love movies that emphasize their time periods because they allow you to feel as if you were there.
I have read some reviews that peg Trumbo as a movie about one of the best screenwriters in history with one of the worst scripts in history. I am not sure why people are saying it is one of the worst scripts, however, I can understand many people’s complaints about a dry and straight forward story. The movie is 2 hours long and it simply tells Trumbo’s story which to some might not be that “entertaining.” I myself even at times felt like the story needed more substance, however, I understand that making a movie like this is restricted to history. I didn’t want the story to be changed or made-up just to create excitement. I’ve seen movie in the past that were biographies and sometimes, they just come off as informational and Trumbo can fall into that boat. The one saving grace from this movie being a bland documentary is the cast. The cast brings these real people to life once again and teaches people like myself a little bit more about the hobby we love.
Trumbo isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of movies and movie history, this movie is one worth seeing. The performances alone are worth it (Bryan Cranston is being hyped for Best Actor), but along the way you will lean something too. I find it fascinating that a man who was told he couldn’t work in movies won 2 awards that stated he was the best at what he did durnig this time. I’m glad the Academy has gone back and changed the awards to honor Dalton Trumbo and give the credit he deserves for the 2 films he won. All in all, Trumbo is one I highly recommend!
8/10 Stars – Sure, it can be dry and documentary-like at times, but the setting, acting and history behind Trumbo makes it educational and interesting for any movie fan!
The film Trumbo brings to life a time in cinematic history that had its problems but survived and certainly is the better for it. To be honest the description of this film sounded well boring. Certainly it isn’t captivating or overly entertaining but it was oddly fascinating. It was like you were privy to this insider story…behind the scenes if you will. For film geeks like me it was utterly beguiling. My other half is right, as far as bio epics go this one falls into the informational category.
The value of Trumbo, aside from what I mention above in the way of the insider’s story, is in the cast. Once again this is one of those films that without its cast performances it would fall of the map into the annals of bad bio pics. Cranston nails it as the eccentric Trumbo. Mirren, Tudyk, Goodman Lane etc. all add beautiful supporting performances.
Trumbo is far from being film of the year and certainly isn’t for just anyone who wanders into the theater. It does however bring some intrigue and interest with a touch of humor and some valuable performances that could be Oscar worthy depending on the competition. I personally enjoyed it and feel there is a definite audience out there who will to.
8/10 Stars – If you go in expecting a more information than entertainment you will find yourself pleasantly entertained.