This week, BUFS is pleased to present Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane and Helen Mirren. Directed by Jay Roach.
Trumbo is a compelling drama based on a true story about the fascinating life of Dalton Trumbo, one of Hollywood’s most successful screenwriters and responsible for some of the greatest screen credits ranging from Kitty Foyle to Exodus. He was also, to his detriment, a member of the communist party. The film starring Bryan Cranston as the witty and insightful Trumbo, focuses on Trumbo’s life and roller-coaster career during the 1940’s and 50’s in America.
Written by John McNamara and directed by Jay Roach, the film opens in 1947 with Trumbo and nine other prominent Hollywood players testifying in front of the House of UnAmerican Activities committee for their membership to the communist party. Out of principle and standing up for what he believed in, Trumbo refused to give any information during his testimony. His silence resulted in him being convicted of contempt of congress landing him an eleven-month prison sentence and being black listed in Hollywood. The film follows the struggles he faces to find work after his release. The audience is introduced to some quirky Hollywood characters that influenced how his life played out during this period, like Hollywood’s gossip queen Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren), the deceitful Edward G. Robinson (Michael Stuhlbarg) and brothers Frank King (John Goodman) and Hymie (Stephen Root) who give Trumbo work when the establishment refuses to.
Director Jay Roach effectively balances humor and solemnness while lightly scratching the surface of the complexities that took place during the unfortunate black listing period in American history. Roach successfully captures Trumbo’s idealistic nature, wit and humor in this must see film.
Trumbo screens Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Landmark Theatres, Pen Centre. Visit brocku.ca/bufs for details.