ByCraig Whyel, writer at
Film & TV news, previews and commentary
Craig Whyel

Bryan Cranston stars in Trumbo as legendary Hollywood screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo.

Trumbo’s successful career came to a sudden halt in 1947 when he refused to testify before a federal government committee’s investigation into “communist” influences in the motion picture industry.

Trumbo was one of a group of professional colleagues, known as the “Hollywood Ten,” who wouldn’t cooperate with the committee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

For his lack of participation, Trumbo was convicted on charges of contempt of congress and served eleven months in prison and was blacklisted from working in Hollywood by the major studio heads.

Here is why I believe Trumbo, which hits screens on November 6, 2015, will be a front-runner in the next film awards season:

Subject Matter: Though controversial, Trumbo covers an important and very dark part of Hollywood history when 151 entertainment professionals were barred from employment until the early 1960s simply because of their political beliefs. Dalton Trumbo managed to find work by writing under a pseudonym.

To Hollywood insiders, he is seen as a survivor with the courage of his convictions.

On the other hand, the very mention of the word communism is likely to set off people who are very set in their thinking.

Louis C.K. does drama as scribe Arlen Hird.
Louis C.K. does drama as scribe Arlen Hird.

Cast: Bryan Cranston headlines a very talented cast which includes Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, John Goodman, Elle Fanning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Louis C.K. and Stephen Root.

There are any acting awards among the group, especially by Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren.

You probably could put together a better cast but you likely wouldn’t be able to afford them.

Writing: Trumbo is based on the book of the same name by the critically-acclaimed, late journalist/novelist Bruce Cook.

The screenplay was written by Jay McNamara. Among his recent credits include writing and producing episodes of the TV series Aquarius.

Bottom line, the writing was done at the hands of highly experienced talents.

Direction: Jay Roach directed Trumbo. He has four Emmy Awards to his credit as well as a number of nominations. He also served as a producer of Trumbo.

John Goodman as film producer Frank King.
John Goodman as film producer Frank King.

Distribution: Bleecker Street is distributing Trumbo. Though a new company Bleecker Street focuses on what it believes to be smart films, which is often the kind that critics and awards panels/voters like.

In Trumbo, Bleecker Street has a near perfect storm of elements, as mentioned above, topped by lead actor Bryan Cranston, known for his electrifying performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad, and Helen Mirren, one of the very few talents to have won the triple crown of acting awards, Oscar, Emmys and Tony statuettes.

Talent rich Trumbo stacks up as a potential awards-winner on many fronts.

Diane Lane stars as Mrs. Cleo Trumbo.
Diane Lane stars as Mrs. Cleo Trumbo.

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