Trumbo (2015) Review

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Bryan Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo in Jay Roach’s TRUMBO, a Bleecker Street release.

Since making himself an A-list star thanks to his performance in Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston has gone off the radar for the most of 2015 but with Awards season on the horizon he has returned to our screens taking on the role of controversial screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo.

For those of you who’ve not heard of Dalton Trumbo, he is a two time Academy Award winning screenwriter who won the awards for Roman Holiday and The Brave One, except he never got to claim them at the time, somebody else did. Dalton Trumbo, along with 9 other screenwriters, who would become known as the Hollywood Ten  was blacklisted in Hollywood due to his involvement with the Communist Party- an association that would also see him end up spending 11 months of his life in jail for.

Cranston’s Trumbo is a joy to spend time with- he is witty, charming and above all else, a passionate defender of his beliefs. Trumbo’s story is one not told all to often so credit has to been given to the movie for that. Unfortunately it’s a tragedy that a film about such an extraordinary screen writer should be lumbered with such a mediocre script. Far from terrible the film’s script fails to add any real gravitas to the movie, leaving certain big moments feeling rather anti-climatic. At time Trumbo and his fellow screen writer’s struggles feel very cliche and the tropes of such a film start to slowly creep in.

Despite all of this the film still proves entertaining, rollicking along at a fair old pace and introducing to a story that is not too widely known. Cranston delivers a brilliant performance- one that is likely to see him pick up his share of award nominations along the way and his performance is supported by some that are equally as entertaining. John Goodman is a hoot as Frank King, the head of King Brothers productions and Louis CK also shines as Trumbo’s friend Arlen Herd.

Verdict: Cranston will likely earn his fair share of plaudits for Trumbo and rightfully so. Trumbo is an entertaining, if underwritten movie about a fascinating subject.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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