A little late to the party, but Movies In Focus finally caught up with Jay Roach’s 2015 release Trumbo. It’s a great character study of the blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo and it really delivers in setting out the details of a seriously dark time in Hollywood’s history.
Roach’s biopic shows how Trumbo stood his ground and helped break the Holywood blacklist which saw communists and communist sympathisers shunned by the major studios. The amazing thing – during this time Trumbo still managed to win two screenwriter Academy Awards using aliases.
Bryan Cranston really impresses as the crotchety screenwriter, but the whole cast is stand-out. Helen Mirren delivers as Hedda Hopper, Louis C.K. really impresses as Arlen Hird (am I allowed to say that?), as does John Goodman as Frank King. Michael Stuhlbarg makes a great Edward G. Robinson and Dean O’Gorman is something of a revelation as Kirk Douglas. It’s a shame that Diane Lane is saddled with the loving wife role (the film’s only real wrong note).
A lot of the themes within Trumbo echo today, especially amongst the current #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements. It’s an impressive film – and worth seeking out.