Hollywood’s most famous black-listed screenwriter Dalton Trumbo endured a terrible time throughout his life. Trumbo was never looked upon the same way after his release from prison; even in his beloved film industry, many of his co-workers wouldn’t accept any work under his name. The famed writer decided to write and submit film scripts under a pseudonym. Directed by the well-known comedy film maker Jay Roach, Trumbo is far from a masterpiece. Jay Roach’s direction isn’t ground-breaking or remotely great to look at. In places, his direction feels cheap and lazy; and this is one of the films biggest downfalls. I still can’t understand why you would hire a comedic director for a biopic drama. It’s not Jay Roach’s normal playing field and it’s evident throughout. The saving grace of this movie is leading man Bryan Cranston. To what I believe is his first leading role in a feature film, the American actor is brimming with confidence and swagger on screen as Dalton Trumbo. Coming off from his superb awarding winning performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad, he has been recognised by the Academy for his performance in this film. Brimmed with long monologues and powerful acting, Bryan Cranston is 100% the right fit for the role of Trumbo. He continuously entertains the audience throughout the film; even when he is chomping on his cigar in the bath tapping like a mad man on his type writer.
Even though Trumbo has a great lead actor, it is pulled back from its average supporting cast. Helen Mirren, Diane Lane and Michael Stahlberg try ever so hard to keep up with the power and wit that Cranston possesses. Due to that, they are left behind in the dirt and don’t have any stand out scene that makes any of their characters interesting. Albeit, it is all about Dalton Trumbo, but having a great supporting cast would have made the film a lot better. The film shows how broken democracy is during the 1940’s and the incredible strength that the screenwriter had during the tremendously tough times that he experienced. For a film to cover such an amazing story, I feel Trumbo is deserving of a better film. Bryan Cranston is the only great thing about it and luckily, that’s enough for it to become enjoyable. Average directing along with forgettable performances from the supporting cast, we are very fortunate to have an incredible piece of work from the leading man. 3 out of 5 stars.