Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) is terrific and worthy of his Oscar nomination, playing Dalton Trumbo, the famous screenwriter who joined the Communist party in the 1940’s and was blacklisted in Hollywood. As a result, he lost his job and fortune, forcing him to use a pseudonym to write Oscar winning movies like “Roman Holiday” and “The Brave One”. It’s impossible to picture “Trumbo” with anyone but Cranston in the leading role. That’s not to say that this is merely a star vehicle. Director Jay Roach keeps his story constantly appealing, and if you’re a sucker for old Hollywood, you will definitely enjoy seeing the likes of John Wayne (played by David James Elliott), Edward G. Robinson (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Kirk Douglas (Dean O’Gorman). And yet in spite of a satisfying conclusion, “Trumbo” lacks the greatness this real life story would seem to demand. It’s still a solid picture overall with good performances all around. But what I carry with me the most is boundless admiration for Bryan Cranston, who makes the movie worth seeing for anyone who is intrigued by this fascinating period in Hollywood.
Categories: 3/4, biopic, drama, The Twenty-First Century
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