Bryan Cranston smokes cigarettes in the bath…
The story of the infamous ‘Hollywood 10’ has been well documented elsewhere but still doesn’t really have international prominence. The ridiculous witch hunt against potential communists in the 40s and beyond saw 10 prominent Hollywood writers blacklisted and jailed.
Communism in the 40s was more akin to present day Socialism than what it has become in the modern era. Successful writer Dalton Trumbo was at the forefront of the Hollywood 10 and he was a huge advocate of workers’ rights and equal rights.
Dalton Trumbo was a flamboyant and larger than life character and Bryan Cranston brings him to life in this wonderful biopic. The real star of Trumbo however is the excellent supporting cast. John Goodman is always a lot of fun, even when playing an almost identical role to those he played in Argo and The Artist.
Louis CK most impresses however, with an outstanding turn as the fictional Arlen Hird – a character who represents an amalgamation of 5 members of the Hollywood 10. At one time CK was considered a comedian who also acted. The lines have become increasingly blurred after his appearance in American Hustle and the utter brilliance of his performance in Horace and Pete.
Also on top form is Diane Lane who was scandalously overlooked for a best supporting actress nomination at this years’ Oscars. Her female co-star Helen Mirren fares slightly worse when hamming it up as antagonist Hedda Hopper however. Whilst Hopper was a brutal figure by all accounts, Mirren’s performance is too close to being a panto villain for comfort.
Whilst it drags very slightly in the latter half, Trumbo succeeds in bringing an important story back into the public consciousness, in a similar way as The Imitation Game did for Alan Turing.