Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trumbo Review

I went to see the new movie Trumbo this holiday long weekend.  I will confess right away that my main interest in going to see this movie was to see Dean O'Gorman. 

For those that don't know, Dean O'Gorman plays Kirk Douglas in the film about blacklisted award winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

The film of course has a political viewpoint, it's a political film. I mostly keep away from politics on this blog, and I certainly don't want to get into the politics of this one. But I recommend this film to everyone as a good film, good acting, true story. It's not just about Hollywood history, but part of American history, and Cold War history.

I haven't seen any of the shows that Bryan Cranston is famous for, but he made me believe he was this man, Dalton Trumbo. He was funny, tragic, and always human in portraying Trumbo. Lucky for the actor though that we may know this man's films, but few would know the look and sound of the real Trumbo. 

I liked the Trumbo family dynamics too. I especially liked the two young actors who played his oldest daughter at different ages, Madison Wolfe and Elle Fanning. 

Helen Mirren also had the good fortune that most film goers today won't have seen the real Hedda Hopper. Though a good performance, I thought at times she was a bit too extreme in showing Hollywood columnist Hopper's villainous ways. Scary how much power she and fellow columnist Louella Parsons had in their day. 

Not that the Hollywood media still doesn't have power to make or break careers. But now we have Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, Instagram, and who knows what else. 

I also have to confess that I grew up watching classic movies, from the time I was born probably! I know all these legendary actors portrayed in this film very well, know their movies well.What a challenging job for this group of actors. I'm glad none of them tried an impersonation of Edward G. Robinson, or John Wayne, or Kirk Douglas. That would not have been successful, and almost impossible to do without it looking a bit like a comedy act. So, to the actors and director's credit, they all played their characters as "regular" people, with a mannerism or two thrown in to make us acknowledge who they were playing. The one I had the most trouble believing as Edward G. Robinson was Michael Stuhlbarg. But I did believe in the troubles of Robinson as a man, confronted with a choice most of us are lucky we don't have to make. 

To me, Dean O'Gorman was very convincing as Kirk Douglas. He looks very much like the young Kirk. I thought O'Gorman's confident attitude and slight bravado on screen were much like Douglas the man and movie star I've seen in talk shows most of my life. It's a small role, but a pivotal role, in the film. 

And yes, Dean looks very good in the Spartacus....costume.


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