Film Review: Trumbo

TRUMBO

Director Jay Roach’s Trumbo is an engaging and finely written biographical drama. With great performances, the film is a must see.

Successful Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo is also a member of the Communist Party in the 1940s. When the House of Un-American Activities Committee starts to investigate the film industry, Trumbo and several of his colleagues find themselves blacklisted…

There is a difficulty in writing a film about a brilliant screenwriter. However, John McNamara pulls it off with Trumbo. There are plenty of films about Hollywood and filmmaking, several of these are excellent in fact, but Trumbo shows a darker period and aspect of the industry. Despite the seriousness of the issue, there is a playfulness that avoids a descent into bleakness. Nevertheless, this in no way diminishes the hardships of those affected.

Trumbo‘s narrative is well constructed; the real strength of the film is its screenplay. The film covers an extensive period, yet it never feels like it is not delving into relevant parts of each era. McNarama shows the light and shade of such a time. The film does broadly characterise heroes and villains with sufficient shades of grey. Characters are three dimensional enough to not be caricatures. Above all, Trumbo paints the absurdity and sadness of the situation.

Jay Roach’s direction is solid, and production values in the film are good. Fans of Classic Hollywood will surely enjoy the portrayal of well-known faces from this era. Bryan Cranston delivers a wonderful performance in the title role. Diane Lane is also good as wife Cleo. There are some great smaller parts in the film; Helen Mirren and John Goodman appear to be having fun roles.

Trumbo highlights a significant figure in Hollywood history, and an important aspect of that history. The film takes its subject matter to weave a engrossing picture.

Trumbo is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2015.

London Film Festival 2015 Preview

The BFI London Film Festival 2015 commences this Wednesday, with a total of 238 fiction and documentary features being screened, including 16 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, 40 European Premieres and 11 Archive films. The festival opens with the European premiere of Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan. Here are some of the films to catch at the London Film Festival 2015…

Trumbo

TRUMBO

Bryan Cranston plays Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted after refusing to testify in the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947. A must-see for fans of films about the film industry, Trumbo is a biopic set in Hollywood’s Golden Age. The film also stars Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and Louis C.K.

The Witch

Taking place in a pre-Salem Witch Trials New England, The Witch is about a family who believe a supernatural force is at work. The Witch is the first feature directed by Robert Eggers, who won the Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year. The film is nominated for the Sutherland Award for first feature at the London Film Festival 2015.

Beasts of No Nation

BEASTS OF NO NATION

Netflix’s foray into film distribution comes in the form of the powerful Beasts of No Nation. The film is directed by Cary Fukunaga, based on his screenplay about a young boy who is forced to join a group of soldiers in Africa. Starring Idris Elba, the film received critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

Steve Jobs

The London Film Festival 2015 hosts the European premiere of Steve Jobs as its closing gala. Based behind the scenes at three product launches, the film has envious credentials. Directed by Danny Boyle and scripted by Aaron Sorkin, the film stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen.

The BFI London Film Festival 2015 takes place between 7th-18th October. For full listings and more information, see here.