It’s a story not everyone will be familiar with, but an important one nonetheless
It’s always hard to move away from a beloved TV character, and as far as they go, Breaking Bad’s Walter White is right up there.
Although the show may have ended in 2013, the hype is ongoing. But even die-hard Breaking Bad fans will struggle to see anyone but Dalton Trumbo in this excellent portrayal from Bryan Cranston.
It’s a story not everyone will be familiar with, but an important one nonetheless. In the 1940s, screenwriter Trumbo (Cranston) became the subject of a smear campaign based purely on his political beliefs.
His affiliation with communism led to him being blacklisted by Hollywood, with studios refusing to work with him and the press perpetuating the paranoia.
Journalist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) drove the campaign, filling her columns with slanderous allegations and names of any Hollywood stars associated with communism. Trumbo was arrested, questioned and eventually handed a jail sentence.
But a man of such conviction won’t be beaten, and as soon as he’s out of prison he embarks on a frenzied mission to make his mark on Hollywood.
Trumbo is a touching biopic, often surprisingly funny. Cranston offers up some amazing deadpan one-liners, really bringing the flair, passion and eccentricity of Trumbo to life.
Comedy props also go to John Goodman as sleazy studio boss Frank King who produces soft porn such as ‘The Alien and the Farm Girl’ – say no more!
But the tale has real heart too, very realistically portraying the sacrifices Trumbo and his family had to make in the name of his political beliefs.
Diane Lane is poised and elegantly brilliant as his wife Cleo, while Elle Fanning is great in the role of daughter Nikola, who channels both the anger and admiration she feels for her father into her own political pursuits.
There was always going to be a time fans had to say goodbye to Walter White and hello to Cranston in exciting new roles. And as far as these go, Trumbo is an excellent choice.
Now it’s a case of waiting to see whether his performance will earn him an Oscar or BAFTA at this year’s ceremonies later this month – fingers crossed!
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