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Showtimes: Thursday, Jan. 14th @ 6:30 & 8:40 pm
Director: Jay Roach
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren
Runtime: 124 minutes
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards: Best Actor, Bryan Cranston
Nominations: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress: Golden Globes, Screen Actor Guild, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.
“Trumbo reminds us of a very dark time in America as well as Hollywood. Important but also hugely entertaining. Bryan Cranston nails it.” – Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood Daily
Trumbo is a compelling collaboration between Bryan Cranston and Jay Roach, who also directed another political pic, HBO’s Game Change, which detailed the bizarre rise of Sarah Palin. Interestingly, there are parallels between then and now.
Churning out his best work while in the bath, Trumbo establishes his reputation with films like Kitty Foyle and A Guy Named Joe. Then he is targeted by Hollywood bigwigs who hate his pro-labour agitation, particular venom coming from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, played icily by Helen Mirren.
Trumbo winds up serving 11 months in jail for refusing to testify before McCarthy-ite witch-hunters, leaving behind his loyal wife (Diane Lane) and three bewildered children.
The film really ramps up once its cigarette-puffing, scotch-swilling scribe devises a plan to keep himself and fellow black-listers writing scripts under fake names for exploitation producers, including cheese ball brothers played delightfully by John Goodman and Stephen Root. Trumbo goes on to win Oscars for Roman Holiday and The Brave One but only under pseudonyms.
Decked out in droopy mustaches and an increasingly stooped gait, Cranston captures Trumbo as a throwback combination of old-world courtliness and Mark Twain wit.
Other icons pop up including John Wayne (David James Elliott) and Edward G. Robinson (Michael Stuhlbarg). Particularly convincing is Dean O’Gorman as Kirk Douglas, who helped end the blacklist by hiring Trumbo for Spartacus.
Colourful characters, natty costumes, and jaunty music helps Trumbo to bring mid-century Tinseltown to picturesque life.