Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo) gives a cracking performance as Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter who was blacklisted after refusing to testify in the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947.
The ‘Hollywood Ten’ remains one of the most sensational stories of the McCarthy era and Trumbo is one of its most enduring names, a bitter irony given that he was not initially credited for his Academy Award winning screenplays – Roman Holiday and The Brave One – both of which were penned whilst the blacklist was in effect.
From this shameful slice of history director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents) and writer John McNamara craft an engrossing and entertaining biopic that ripples with a palpable love of Golden Age Hollywood. Among the film’s many pleasures are an array of fine supporting performances from Helen Mirren as the infamous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, John Goodman as an unscrupulous B-movie producer and Louis C.K. as the film’s most poignant and affecting character, a friend and fellow writer who refuses to compromise his principles.