Sometimes, when the voices of repression are gaining momentum, it takes one person with one voice to stop them.
In the recently released movie, Trumbo, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) is one of the most respected screenwriters in Hollywood. He has been married for quite a few years to Cleo (Diane Lane), who has given him three children. Their life is settled and happy.
But it is 1947 and Trumbo’s membership in the Communist Party is about throw a whole lot of turmoil his way. The House Un-American Activities Committee is investigating any citizens who have either an interest or a membership in the communist party. Dalton is one of those caught in the net. He is eventually thrown into jail for contempt of congress. After leaving jail, Trumbo finds that he and the rest of the Hollywood Ten are blacklisted. They must work under pen names to be able to earn a living. While many in Hollywood want to know who is writing these movies, the secret of who is the screenwriter must be kept under wraps.
While this movie is a bit slow at points, it is nothing short of Oscar bait. Cranston’s performance alone is enough to add him to the short list of potential Oscar nominees for best actor. Adding in Helen Mirren as famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, David James Elliott as John Wayne, Dean O’Gorman as Kirk Douglas & Michael Stuhlbarg as Edward G. Robinson (who is sure to win the Oscar for best supporting actor) only makes this cast and this movie that much better. The filmmakers have also done a nice job of mixing footage from the era with the scenes from the film.
The film is also an excellent reminder of the priceless value of the bill of rights and how quickly fear can be used to manipulate and control.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Trumbo is presently in theaters.