This Week's Review: Trumbo

The weekend of April 9 did not provide much in the way of interest.  I had no desire to see Hardcore Harry despite its massive advertising campaign.  The advertisements claim that it uses innovate storytelling techniques, but anyone familiar with the film noir genre will remember The Lady in the Lake and and be very familiar with the gimmick.

I decided to stay home and watch a DVD of Trumbo, a film I missed in late 2015.  I have vivid memories of the late 1940s and early 1950s, but there are major gaps in my memories of the Hollywood Ten and other aspects of the era of the blacklist.  I remember that there were certain films that my parents refused to see and I suspect that they were wary of the ideology of the scripts and producers.  I did not know the name of Dalton Trumbo until the early 1960s, but I have certainly heard about him since then.

Bryan Cranston is very good as Dalton Trumbo; he did receive an Oscar nomination and I think his performance is equal to that of Leonardo Decaprio.   Helen Mirren is also very good as Hedda Hopper; I had no idea she was such a fierce partisan.  Many of the lesser roles are not fleshed out, so I did not learn much about other members of the Hollywood Ten.

There is a great deal of  smoking in the film, so much that I could feel my lungs constricting.  The language is often coarse.  Many critics have accused the film of being overly partisan and I am inclined to agree.  Even so, the acting makes the film worth seeing.