Friday, August 19, 2016

Review of 'Trumbo'

A relatively straightforward bio-pic, about the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Conveys some of the misery of the McCarthy period, but of course is only about what it felt like to the rich and  successful leftists of Hollywood - here, as pretty much everywhere, there's nothing at all about all the less exalted people persecuted by the ascendant right wing...though to give the film its due, it does at least show that liberal Democrats were as much the victims of McCarthy and HUAC as were actual Communists. A more or less happy ending, because Trumbo's story does have one, and his family held together under the strains, which are depicted in the film; others were less fortunate. I didn't realise Trumbo wrote the screenplay for "Exodus" (the book is described as a "piece of shit" in the film), which just goes to show how you could be a Zionist and a progressive in the 1960s.

Nice to see Bryan Cranston in it - acts well, doesn't do a reprise of his Breaking Bad character.

Watched on a library borrowed DVD at my in-laws, while my father-in-law Issy watched from bed and dozed occasionally. Might be worth re-watching Woody Allen's "The Front" as a complement to this; one of the bland, pleasant characters in it acts as a front for Trumbo and others.

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