Today Hollywood is plagued with controversy. In recent years the issue that has been most in the spotlight would probably be the unequal representation of female roles and wages compared to those of men. In the last month though the ‘Oscars So White’ outrage has surpassed this with many feeling that the Academy have under-appreciated many performances from black actors and actresses. We seem to have come a long way from the golden age of cinema, but was it actually all that different back then? I thought so, until I watched ‘Trumbo’.
The odds for me enjoying ‘Trumbo’ were always looking pretty good, a film about an industry that I love was bound to interest me. Set in the 40s and 50s, ‘Trumbo’ tells the story of Dalton Trumbo the Hollywood screenwriter. I was quite amazed that the story of Dalton Trumbo was one that I literally knew nothing about. It confirmed for me that the early years of Hollywood weren’t just all glitz and glam! This fascinating true story is quite incredible and I’m so glad that it has been told once more, thankfully because of this another generation of movie fans like myself can hear it. ‘Trumbo’ has also encouraged me to go back to certain older movies and watch them. Whilst the likes of ‘Roman Holiday’ and ‘Spartacus’ have always been on my movie radar them are now much more in the forefront and I hope to watch them soon. Along with other films that I hadn’t heard of before such as ‘The Brave One’ and ‘Exodus’. I have to conclude that any fan of cinema should really enjoy this, the strength is certainly in the true story on which ‘Trumbo’ is based but the film deserves praise too for bringing this story back to life.
The cast here are great. Playing the title role is Bryan Cranstan, who until a couple of years ago most of us probably knew best as ‘Hal’ from ‘Malcolm in the Middle’. Since then he’s gone on to star in numerous films and TV shows such as ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Drive’, ‘Argo’ and ‘Godzilla’. However, his portrayal of Dalton Trumbo has to be one of his finest film performances yet. It’s the most I’ve ever seen him on screen in a film and he carries it so well. He has good support too from a wide variety of other cast members such as Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Alan Tudyk and many more. My favourite of the supporting cast had to be John Goodman though, he actually contributes here in this supporting role (unlike previous roles in recent years) and really adds to the film despite his relatively small amount of screen time. The team working on ‘Trumbo’ seem to have done really well in making the cast look like their real life characters, from the photos included as the credits role this looks to have been accomplished well. The score set the tone of the film very well being reminiscent of the era but also including sinister undertones which were appropriate for the narrative and darker themes which were present. Whilst this film is serious and deals with quite a dark time in history for the film industry it manages to be really funny on occasions too. This never detracts from the overall purpose of the movie though, like everything else it only enhances the viewing experience for the audience.
A strong cast across the board lead by a great performance from Bryan Cranston, a striking likeness to their real life characters, a fitting score and humour placed well throughout meant that ‘Trumbo’ almost perfectly brings this amazing true story to the screen. Like so many real life events depicted by movies it is the truth behind the movie that becomes the star. Any fan of films should be able to get lost in these early years of Holywood and will definitely want to explore some of the movies mentioned here if they haven’t already seen them. Hopefully this can spark an interest in the film industry for many others too but even if it doesn’t ‘Trumbo’ should easily keep anyone’s interest for it’s running time. Dalton Trumbo should be a name known more amongst the film community, I hope this film achieves this.
Rating – 9/10
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