Bryan Cranston has already earned critical acclaim for his work on the small screen; winning no less than four Emmys for his portrayal of Walter White in Breaking Bad. Though many will know him for that character alone (unless you’re also a Malcolm in the Middle fan), Cranston’s career is long and varied – and his latest role might well thrust him into contention for major accolades, when awards season comes around.
Trumbo has just gotten an international trailer, showcasing new footage of the biopic which will have a limited theatrical release during the late 2015 awards season. Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo, whose life story lends itself perfectly to the big screen treatment.
Trumbo was the most successful screenwriter of his time when he was brought before The House Un-Americans Activities committee in their 1947 investigation into whether the Communist Party had been placing propaganda in films. Trumbo and the other nine people called refused to testify. As a result, he was sentenced to eleven months in prison and blacklisted by all major Hollywood studios. Undeterred, Trumbo went on to write under various pseudonyms; winning two academy awards in the process. After blacklisting ended in 1960, it was publicly announced that Trumbo had written the screenplays for Exodus, Spartacus, and Roman Holiday.
The Trumbo biopic has an all star cast; Diane Lane (Man of Steel) and Elle Fanning (Maleficent) star as Trumbo’s wife and daughter respectively, while Helen Mirren (The Queen) plays infamous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (sporting some fabulous 1940’s costumes in the process). Louis C.K. plays fellow blacklisted writer Arlen Hird, with John Goodman as Frank King, the rather menacing head of King Brothers production company. Alan Tudyk, Michael Stuhlbarg (Pawn Sacrifice) and Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit trilogy) also feature in supporting roles.
Trumbo is directed by Jay Roach, best known for his comedy work having directed the Austin Powers trilogy as well as Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers – with Trumbo having more in common with Roach’s more serious (and political-minded) HBO TV movies Recount and Game Change, more than his customary big screen work. However, from the looks of this trailer, he might just have pulled it off.
The attention to period detail is exceptional, from the costumes, to the sets, and to the dialogue. Just from the trailers, it looks like the film boasts another great Mirren performance (as if we would expect anything less), and it is great to see John Goodman in what also looks to be a strong role. The only weak spot looks as though it could come from O’Gorman’s turn as Kirk Douglas; his accent makes his character sound more like a pastiche than an accurate portrayal, but this might iron out throughout the course of the movie.
It is Cranston who steals the show though; and deservedly so. His Trumbo is compelling to watch even in this two and a half minute clip. Time will tell if he can keep the audience held for the whole movie but given his previous work, one would expect him to be utterly captivating for the duration – and if so, don’t be surprised if this starring role earns him several award nods.
Trumbo begins a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on November 6th, 2015.
Source: Entertainment One