This movie sucked. It didn’t even suck in a good way where it was unintentionally funny or bad but good, it was just kind of boring and long.
Trumbo is the story of how Bryan Cranston does a Daniel Day-Lewis impression to get people to see him as anything other than Walter White, and in that (and ONLY in that) is it successful.
Dalton Trumbo was a screenwriter during the Cold War/Blacklist and he in secret wrote the scripts for a lot of movies which defeated the terrorists? I didn’t really know what was going on honestly. Like, it was during the red scare so there was all this political bullshit where people were like, “What are your beliefs? Because that defines you, because this is America and even though it’s a country of immigrants, arbitrarily the government/people in power get to decide what’s acceptable ideologically here.”
They tried to tell what is I’m sure an interesting story but good God, this movie. (The person I saw it with was like, “I wish Dalton Trumbo wrote THIS movie” which is the funniest thing anyone could have said).
Everyone was wooden and pretty awful. Except John Goodman who did the best. And Helen Mirren who did the best too. But everyone else. First of all, the casting director seemed to be playing a practical joke on everyone with the kids in this movie. They just kept growing into new people that didn’t look like each other. Also they aged at sporadic intervals. There’s a period where Trumbo goes to jail for like 8 months and when he comes back his two littlest boys are the same actors but his daughter is now 6’1” and a teenager and Elle Fanning.
Diane Lane played Trumbo’s wife and she was completely terrible. And I LOVE Diane Lane. Under the Tuscan Sun? I love it. But here she was clearly misguided and the director did her wrong. She kept doing that thing where you try to express all the emotion on your face while someone else is talking? Like the mom in the background of a cereal commercial who has a lot of feelings about you coming home from soccer practice with a black friend.
This movie was a million hours long, it felt like we were going through the Cold War, not watching something about it. Also you just didn’t care about anybody, probably because all the makeup was so bad. When people aged I swear to God they just put baby powder in their hair.
You know how in the Aviator there were a lot of cool mini cameos where celebrities play older celebrities? Like Kate Beckinsale playing Ava Gardener and Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow? Well, Trumbo tried to do that but everyone was awful. Like Louis CK was in it, not as a cameo either, he was a larger supporting role, and he just looked like he walked out of 2015 to tell everyone in the movie that they sucked. He looked normal! He looked like he walked off his own show, put suspenders on and came to work over here.
This movie would have been more interesting if everyone was replaced with Vine stars, THAT’S how bad it was.
I suppose the main problem (if I have to pick just one) was that the film couldn’t seem to decide how they wanted to present Trumbo. It seemed like they couldn’t decide between him as a hero or an anti-hero or just troubled/dark, so they just produced an assemblage of scenes that all had thematic language but which don’t line up so we’re forced to shoehorn symbolism into every minor detail. Like, the amount of speeches that referenced “hope” or “the right thing” or “truth” was astronomical but they were never connected back to any anchor of content or perspective.
You know how in Lord of the Rings the Two Towers, every scene after the 2 hr mark seemed like a good ending but then the movie kept going? Well, in this movie, every scene was like a final scene but with a thematic ellipsis that the next scene continued, and on and on forever. A Russian nesting dolls of useless thematic symbolism.
There are more things I could criticize, but why would I? I didn’t like the movie at all, so it’s not really necessary for me to go back and delineate ALL the bad things. If you’re really curious, it was all of them.
1 out of 5 screenplays, wouldn’t masturbate again