By: Daniel Chadwick-Shubat
Hollywood has a fascination with itself that no other industry has. It constantly makes mistakes, and loves to project those mistakes onto the biggest screen possible… and then give the people behind the film awards. But thankfully this doesn’t mean boring, non-entertaining documentaries, but rather fascinating biopics that feature fantastic acting, top notch directing and an all around entertaining movie experience.
Trumbo can definitely be included in this ever growing list of Hollywood movies are obsessed with self-love. The direction is surprisingly good from the man (Jay Roach) who’s directed the Austin Powers movies and Meet the Parents. The screenplay, while not as good as any of Trumbo’s work is full of witty banter and makes the characters very interesting to see dissected on the big screen. All in all Trumbo is definitely one of the more enjoyable biopics of the year.
Some have accused Trumbo of being a HBO movie, rather than a credible Hollywood biopic but I beg to differ. While its screenplay might not do justice to Dalton Trumbo, one of the best screenwriters ever, it certainly does offer an enjoyable look into his life. The comedy in this movie is important because it not only makes you invest in it characters but also empathize with men and women who were wronged by Hollywood. Who better to handle this movie than Jay Roach, the man known for bringing Austin Powers and Gaylord Focker to the screen.
Initially I was skeptical as well about Roach directing the story about the infamous Hollywood blacklist. But once I read into Dalton Trumbo I realized he was as quirky a character as one you’d see in a Jay Roach movie. With Trumbo Roach offers his best movie yet and delivers another quirky, brilliantly peculiar character, this time real. He coaxes fantastic performances out of his cast and makes a movie that not only film lovers will love but also something the mainstream audience can dig into. A dark part of Hollywood’s history and what better way to highlight it than showing it on the big screen.
But the main highlight of Trumbo is its performances notably that of Bryan Cranston and Diane Lane. Lane, portrays a humbleness that is beautiful to see on the big screen and is definitely the calm center of the movie. She’s not afraid to go head to head with Cranston and in the best scene of the movie tells Dalton his first responsibility is to his family, which sets up the fantastic final act. Cranston perfectly captures the eccentric screenwriter, whether its in jail, engaging in witty banter with a man three times his size or in the bathtub ignoring his daughter on her birthday. At times you hate him, other times you adore him and it shows why Cranston has been nominated for an Oscar and why he’s one of the best actors of his generation.
With a fantastic supporting cast featuring Michael Stuhlbarg, Louis C.K. and John Goodman, Trumbo is a thoroughly enjoyable watch. Sometimes its script does lack a certain oomph and it could have used a rewrite by Trumbo himself but all in all Trumbo doesn’t miss too many beats. Many might argue that Cranston didn’t deserve his Oscar nomination but he does in every way. He channels this enigmatic character and gives his second finest performance to date. And to be honest it’s almost impossible to give a better performance than he did in his 6 seasons asBreaking Bad’s titular character Walter White. Trumbo should from now on be known as Breaking Bad: Hollywood Messed with the Wrong Guy.
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