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Mark Suszko
on Feb 22, 2016 at 10:23:33 pm

NOT a sequel about Dumbo's evil Twin. (That was for Scott)

I saw trailers for this on TV but if it even came to my town at all, it was just for an eyeblink and then gone. And that's too bad.

This was really good. Starring Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo, and Helen Mirren really chews up the scenery as Hedda Hopper. It's about the Hollywood Ten, screenwriters who stood up against the HUAC commie witch-hunt and paid for it with decades of being blacklisted, trying to still make a living by ghost-writing award-winning work they can't take credit for.

John Goodman and Louis C.K. do tremendous work here in supporting roles. I keep getting more and more impressed by Louie's acting abilities. He's doing something not too far from playing himself, but the raw nakedness, the vulnerability of his performance - it comes across as absolutely authentic. Goodman makes all his scenes funny as a former pinball salesman turned schlock film producer, who needs good scripts. "We already bought a gorilla suit. So I gotta put it in a movie. You take it from there." The actor portraying Kirk Douglas, Dean O'Gorman, was scary-good in his impression.

Covers a lot of time and ground over 2 hours of running time, but I never felt it dragging. Some very nice art direction, color timing, and editing. The key scenes where characters have to take an unpopular stand and risk loss to keep to a principle, are all very well done. Might make a nice double - feature with Hail Caesar, when that comes out on pay per view.

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