What a pleasure for movie buffs – a wonderful film focusing on Dalton Trumbo during the period he when was questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee for his involvement in communist politics, jailed, and blacklisted from screenwriting for the Hollywood studios.
Bryan Cranston plays Trumbo, Helen Mirren channels Hedda Hopper with more viciousness than Cruella de Vil, and a slew of lesser known actors bring even more famous names into the act.
Unfortunately, many of the themes presented in the film – government overreach in the name of homeland security, demonizing of progressive ideas, bullying to perpetuate “us-them” divides in public life, and all of it infused with demagoguery – feel too topical to give us much comfort that we have learned from past mistakes.
Let’s take Trumbo as a viewing pleasure and a cautionary tale at the same time. Definitely check it out.