(2015) (Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane) (R)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: An American screenwriter and other Hollywood figures must contend with being blacklisted and more for their involvement in the communist party during the mid 20th century.
- It's 1947 and Dalton Trumbo (BRYAN CRANSTON) is a famous and successful screenwriter who works alongside the likes of legendary actor Edward G. Robinson (MICHAEL STUHLBARG). But Dalton, much like his fellow screenwriter friend Arlen Hird (LOUIS C.K.), is a communist. While that's okay with his non-communist wife Cleo (DIANE LANE) and their three kids, it's not okay with certain figures in Hollywood, including John Wayne (DAVID JAMES ELLIOTT) and actress turned formidable gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (HELEN MIRREN).
Her efforts help Congressman J. Parnell Thomas (JAMES DuMONT) and others of the House Un-American Activities Committee call Dalton and others to testify at a related hearing. That doesn't sit well with the smart-mouthed screenwriter whose refusal to give in to demands of naming others results in him serving time in prison. When he's released, his position on the Hollywood blacklist means no one will hire him. That is, except for feisty independent film producer Frank King (JOHN GOODMAN) who doesn't care about Dalton's politics as long as his scripts get turned into cheap movies that make money.
Proving that works while also penning other scripts but allowing others to take credit for his work, Dalton gets many who are on the black list work with King, all while employing Cleo and their children -- Niki (ELLE FANNING), Chris (MATTIE LIPTAK) and Mitzi (BECCA NICOLE PRESTON) -- to work as production aides for him. His hard working ways with little real time with family don't sit well with Niki, while rumors that he's anonymously working in Hollywood only further infuriate Hedda. Yet, it also draws the attention of the likes of actor Kirk Douglas (DEAN O'GORMAN) and director Otto Preminger (CHRISTIAN BERKEL) who separately want him to work on their projects.
Still facing scrutiny due to his beliefs, Dalton works to provide for his family, all while various forces work to derail his career.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Younger kids probably will have little to no interest, but some older teens might be intrigued by the story, or want to see it if they're fans of anyone in the cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
- For language including some sexual references.
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