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Movie Breakdown: Trumbo

November 17, 2015


The Impression:

While it’s a bit weird to me that Trumbo was directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers 1-3, Meet The Parents/Fockers, Dinner For Schmucks), I think it looks pretty good.  Admittedly though, I’m down for whatever if Bryan Cranston is involved.

The Reality:

Dalton Trumbo, who wrote films such as Roman Holiday, The Brave One, Spartacus and Exodus, led a pretty interesting life.  Back in the late 40s he was blacklisted in Hollywood for being a communist, but he kept writing, kept scheming (he used pseudonyms in order to sell his screenplays) and eventually he was able to get his named cleared.  Trumbo essentially details this journey of his from celebrated screenwriter to despised member of society back to celebrated screenwriter.  It also touches on the whole blacklisting fiasco and what it did to various other careers, relationships and more, but to be honest, that’s not explored all that much.  Instead the film seems to exist just to show that the titular character was a quirky, neat fella, and to allow Bryan Cranston to chew up scene after scene while portraying him as such.  That’s fine and all, as Cranston is very good in Trumbo and is a joy to watch, but I would have liked the movie more had it taken a deeper look at the blacklisting that caused so much damage to many throughout Hollywood.  As the film stands now, it’s just an alright biopic that merely scratches the surface of a more memorable topic.

See Trumbo because it features a rather nice performance by Cranston and does legit have a lot of entertaining moments, but know that you’ll probably walk out of the theater feeling as though it was missing something.

PS – I’m not sure Louis C.K. should be in anything that requires actual acting.  He’s painful to watch in every single scene throughout Trumbo.

The Lesson:

We’ve all said it before and we’ll all say it again, that Bryan Cranston is a great actor.

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