Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Trumbo Review


The last of the films I had left to see that featured the candidates in the Best Actor category was Trumbo. The biographical drama featured a performance worthy of the highest honour for an actor for Bryan Cranston. But is there more to this film rather than just a good performance?

Trumbo is a biographical film featuring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K and John Goodman. It follows the life of American communist screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who along with 9 other Hollywood figures are placed on the blacklist due to their political beliefs. They lose their rights to work on Hollywood projects and are even put in jail. The film shows how Trumbo continued to create his legacy although the world did not know anything about it at first.

I went into this film knowing nothing about this. I'd only seen the film poster. I didn't know the plot or see any trailers so I went into this completely blind. I won't lie either. I didn't know who Walton Trumbo was before this film. Due to this I was surprised to see that this was based on real events as I wouldn't have known due to my knowledge prior to the film. After seeing the film, I left wanting to know more. This man seems so incredibly interesting. I will no doubt be doing a bit of research on him as he seems like a remarkable person. Definitely someone as a media student I will be particularly interested in. So thank you Trumbo for enlightening me.

Now again there is something or specifically someone else that I am not entirely familiar with. And that unbelievably is Bryan Cranston. I haven't seen Breaking Bad which from what I've heard from many people is incredible and he is excellent in. From only seeing him in a few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and his brief appearance in Godzilla, I don't feel I've had enough of a taste to see what is so truly great about him. That has now changed. He was great in this role. He completely compelled me as this character and is part of the reason to why I was so interested in him. I'm not really surprised he was nominated as he feel he was great in this film. He was probably quite easily the stand out in this film by far.

Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo


The rest of the cast were good as well. Nothing special but also nothing terrible either. Famous figures were portrayed such as John Wayne and Kirk Douglas fairly well I would say. As a child I was brought up watching John Wayne westerns due to my fathers interest in them and I was surprised that Wayne was being portrayed in this film. This was mainly due to the actor not looking like him at all which did take me out of the film for a little bit but I do feel that his portrayal was good. Performances from Helen Mirren and John Goodman were also very good and enjoyable.

Trumbo meeting the legendary Kirk Douglas


The film at the start is mainly all based about Trumbo being a communist. A lot of it has to do with how they are being perceived due to their political beliefs and also shows what it caused them to go through due to this. The film does this very well and made it clear what was happening. However at times it did feel slightly rushed and there wasn't much of a reaction to what had happened. Also the time periods weren't entirely clear at times and it seemed to have passed several months without notice. Also I feel that later on in the film it seemed to drop the communism completely and was barely mentioned. I found this strange as it was so heavily featured but wasn't mentioned nearly as much.

Trumbo (Cranston) and his wife Cleo (Diane Lane)


In saying that I did find a great deal of enjoyment just watching him continue his magnificent work whilst being on the blacklist. Seeing him continue to give out scripts in secret which were of the highest quality and continue to defy all accusations against him was truly great. This also was very intriguing and also quite odd to see that he was so willing to not take credit for his masterpieces. However it did provide a great feel good moment when it showed him finally getting the recognition he oh so much deserved.

Trumbo also did a magnificent job at making everything seem classic. The style of clothes in this film helped along with the classic cinemas gave this an old fashioned feeling. The he classic cinemas were done very well with the news reels beforehand as well as smoking in the cinema. Trumbo did a great job at making it feel as if we were in that specific time period.

Final Verdict: Trumbo = B
A very interesting and intriguing film considering I had no idea what I was going in to see. I enjoyed this film a lot and would recommend that you go see it. A great adaptation for someone who seems to have been a creative genius.

So have you seen Trumbo? If so tell me what you thought about it? If you're planning on seeing it, i hope you get as much enjoyment as I did. Once again thank you for reading. If you like, you can look back at my other reviews, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor