Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad) stars as prolific and embattled screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in this powerful chronicle of the Hollywood blacklist era directed by Jay Roach.
One of Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriters thanks to his scripts for such films as Kitty Foyle, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Trumbo was perhaps the most celebrated of the many writers, directors and performers who saw their careers screech to a halt after they were brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 to answer questions about their suspected communist ties (although unlike many on the blacklist, Trumbo was an actual card-carrying member of the American Communist Party until 1948). An outspoken member of the so-called “Hollywood Ten,” Trumbo was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before HUAC, resulting in a year-long prison sentence and a prominent place on the studios’ blacklist. Unable to obtain film work under his own name, Trumbo did some of his finest work under the names of various “fronts” throughout the 1950s—even winning the Oscar for Best Story in 1956 for The Brave One—until his public crediting for the epics Exodus and Spartacus in 1960 helped bring the blacklist era to an end.
Featuring a brilliant performance by Cranston and a remarkable supporting cast that includes Diane Lane (Under the Tuscan Sun), Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa, Babel), John Goodman (Inside Llewyn Davis, The Artist) and Helen Mirren (The Last Station, The Queen) as notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Trumbo is an insightful and stirring drama about one of the most controversial chapters in Hollywood history.
“Bryan Cranston finally translates his critical acclaim for Breaking Bad into an Oscar-caliber performance in darkly comic Trumbo, playing an eloquent, witty screenwriter who bucked the Hollywood blacklist and triumphed.” (Lou Lumenick, New York Post)
“The great Bryan Cranston sinks his teeth into the title role and chews the scenery with such gusto I half-expected him to spit out a chunk of period-piece furniture before we were through. There’s a lot of ham and cheese in the performance, but it’s great fun to watch.” (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)