Trumbo strikes the balance between entertainment and representation of a serious political issue with the skill we should expect from director Jay Roach, who previously directed both the political drama Recount and the trilogy of the international man of mystery himself, Austin Powers. Trumbo follows the life of Dalton Trumbo, the whiskey-drinking, ever-smoking, bath-dwelling Hollywood screenplay writer who was an integral member of the Hollywood ten blacklisted for communist beliefs.
To take the role of writing a script on the life of a screenplay writer which documents his fight against the industry through his Academy Award-winning masterpieces poses to most a daunting Inception-esque prospect. However scriptwriter John McNamara did so to perfection. McNamara documents the prolonged fight the actors, writers and producers undertook for over a decade against the oppression from the government for one’s basic civil rights. With a cast who have strong foundations in comedy the film is hilarious; with fast quips and an impressive use of the English lexicon the comedic vein runs throughout emphasising the, at times, ludicrous crimes the group were accused of from the Un-American Activities Committee.
Bryan Cranston as Trumbo plays the eccentric moral pillar to the Hollywood ten impeccably, delivering an endearing performance that pays homage to the under-represented impact blacklisting had on people’s lives. A struggle encapsulated superbly by Louis CK who channels his comedic foundations into the black humour of Alan Hird, Trumbo’s long suffering ally. Trumbo has a fantastic supporting cast the likes of Helen Mirren, directing the persecution as the journalist Hedda Hopper using the power of the press to its maximum potential, and Dean O’Gorman who authentically encapsulates Kirk Douglas who named Trumbo as screenwriter on Spartacus, beginning the end to the blacklist.
Hollywood and politics have been embroiled in a not so secretive love affair for decades – the portrayal of both as the misinformed oppressors and ostracisers as seen in Trumbo is inspiring. Watch out Academy Awards as Trumbo deservingly looks set to steal the show.
Trumbo is released nationwide on 22nd January 2016.
Watch the trailer for Trumbo here: