Trumbo

Greetings Loved Ones! Liu Is The Name, And Views Are My Game.

I just realized something, my reviews of movies I enjoy tend to be a lot shorter than my reviews of films I don’t. I guess it’s because, when you don’t like something, you look a lot harder for things not to like. And as for the movies you like, well, you like them. You’re therefore willing to overlook certain flaws they might have, and are left with simply saying, “It was good.” That’s the case here with Trumbo, a film that tells the true story of a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, who ended up being able to circumnavigate the system by using pen names. I like it, and, well, I don’t really have much to say other than that.

It’s well-acted, the costumes and sets are period appropriate, and I actually think the writing is quite good. This is ironic because, most other reviews of the film I’ve read praise the acting and sets, but say the writing is the weakest part. I don’t think that’s the case. I personally believe they’re just saying that because the man whose life this film is based off of, Dalton Trumbo, was such an extraordinary writer that nothing can really compare to his work. But, with that said, the screenwriter who penned this biopic shouldn’t be short-changed. There are some very witty, very well-written lines in this movie. My absolute favorite scene is when a guy from the government comes to the Z-grade production company that Trumbo has been secretly working at, and threatens the owner, played by John Goodman. Goodman, to show this fed how little he cares about the blacklist, pulls out a baseball bat, begins smashing up his own office and says, “You wanna call me a pinko in the papers? Go ahead! My audience can’t read!” This, and many other scenes in the film, possess a wit and craftiness that can only come from the efforts of a talented writer, so, don’t believe what other reviews tell you. The script of this movie is solid.

The only problem I might have with this film is the fact that certain characters–particularly the women in the film–feel a bit like tokens, fulfilling archetypes like the nagging daughter, the supportive wife, and the bitter ex-actress who never got to be a star. And yet, I can’t really fault the movie for that either because the script contains scenes where we learn the backstories of all these women, and we see them as more than just “wife” and “daughter.” Trumbo’s wife, Annie, used to be a Circus performer, and his daughter, Nicole, is an advocate for Civil Rights. And they’re not the only characters given a respectful amount of history and depth in this movie. Virtually everyone on screen is given a name, a history, and motivations for acting the way they do. All this is a sign of strong craftsmanship, and further evidence that this movie is worth watching.

So, once again, Trumbo is a well-acted, well-written, and well-designed film that I deeply enjoyed, and that you all shouldn’t hesitate to watch. It’s an 8 out of 10. Try and catch it if it’s still in theaters.

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