Fearing what we don’t understand. So back in the 1940’s, communism was a big threat to the United States. People who lived stateside and believed in it had to keep it as quite as can be, or risk being alienated from friends and neighbors or even losing their jobs. This is the story about Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston), a screenwriter in Hollywood who cranked out many a screenplay prior to being blacklisted for his beliefs. Bryan Cranston is an actor that I will always hold dear to my heart. Ever since the journey he led me through for all five seasons of Breaking Bad, I know what he is capable of doing as far as delivering an emotionally complex performance, so I will always give anything a chance if it stars him. He hasn’t had the best of success in transitioning to the big screen, as he has mostly been used for these small, supporting roles like in John Carter or Larry Crowne. With Trumbo, he has finally gotten a movie role that he can truly sink his teeth into with this obsessive man.
He’s a quirky guy, and Cranston does him justice.
Apart from the lead who you already know is good (hence the acting nomination), there is a fantastic supporting cast backing Cranston up. Michael Stuhlbarg has quietly been having a very busy year, co-starring in a number of high quality films like this, Steve Jobs and Pawn Sacrifice. I love seeing that Louie C.K. is getting a lot more work, and I can’t wait to see where he takes his career next, as he is one of the smartest comedians working today. I also, just showing up can’t go without saying that John Goodman steals the show like he always does; I’m okay with this being his career now for small roles that you remember, because he always brings it and chews scenery when it is called for.
He did it in Argo, and he does it here as well.
This movie does a great job at capturing what group-think people had towards communism back in the day. Not every single person who had this ideal was an evil being, but due to the paranoia that the government forced upon the public, the majority of people couldn’t help but discriminate against what they don’t understand. All of the touches that you want from a period piece are there, and Cranston truly does transform himself to the point where I stopped seeing the actor, and I just saw Dalton Trumbo. It’s a bit on the long side, but you know what? I feel like I learned something, so for that, I can give Trumbo an enthusiastic recommendation.
Trumbo (2015) ****
– Critic for Hire