"Trumbo" explores the dark chapter of Hollywood history in which many of its actors and writers were blacklisted due to a Communist witch hunt. This story is told through the lens of Dalton Trumbo, one of the greatest screen writers of Hollywood's Golden Age and a member of the Hollywood Ten. These true events feel like fiction as Trumbo transitions from being one of the highest paid writers in cinema to being imprisoned, persecuted, and forced to write in secrecy. It is a story of survival, fighting the system, and the cost of that fight. The film is steeped in Hollywood history with the depiction of characters including Hedda Hopper, Kirk Douglas, Ian McLellan Hunter, Edward G. Robinson, Sam Wood, and John Wayne (who may have lost a few fans after they watch this). Through these characters, we are transported back in time as several of Hollywood's greatest masterpieces are recreated before our eyes. When we get to see the production of films like “Spartacus” from a new angle or perspective, it is automatic movie magic. We learned this with the recreation of George Méliès’ films in “Hugo” and I hope that the trend continues. Much of this film’s realism also stems from its strong acting. Bryan Cranston earned his Oscar nomination with this, his greatest performance. He completely embodies Trumbo from start to finish through strong emotions and impassioned speeches. I didn't realize that I could dislike Helen Mirren so much. I was seriously hoping that her character would die so that she couldn't cause any more trouble. The film’s namesake would have appreciated the strong screenplay that drives this story. Powerful dialogue by John Goodman and Diane Lane help to fuel the fire of Trumbo’s varying emotions. “Trumbo” isn’t the best film of 2015 but it is definitely underrepresented in the Oscar nominations and is a must for any fan of film history.
[Pictured: Cranston's performance as Dalton Trumbo would probably win Best Actor if DiCaprio wasn't such an obvious choice for the 2016 Oscars]