An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who defied McCarthy's communist witch-hunt hearings in the late-1940s and was blacklisted by Hollywood for more than a decade. As written by John McNamara and directed by Jay Roach, the film is bright, funny and emotionally resonant, clearly simplified to make it more involving. And with such a terrific cast on board, it's both revealing and a lot of fun.
In 1947, Dalton (Bryan Cranston) is the film industry's top-paid screenwriter, so of course Senator McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Commission goes after him about his rumoured links to the communist party during the war. But he and nine fellow writers refuse to testify, so they're imprisoned for contempt, denied work by the Hollywood studios and targeted personally by the powerful gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren). To survive, Dalton begins writing under a series of pseudonyms for the B-movie producer Frank King (John Goodman), creating a script factory in his home with the help of his wife Cleo (Diane Lane) and daughter Niki (Elle Fanning). Two of these screenplays win Oscars, and it isn't until Dalton begins writing Spartacus in 1960 that actor Kirk Douglas (Dean O'Gorman) breaks the studio blacklist.
Roach directs this story in a sunny, snappy way that includes lots of smart wordplay and a clear sense of the us-or-them mentality that has defined America since the Cold War. People need a villain to hiss at, so anyone with even a passing connection to communism will do. And Mirren hisses better than most. Her performance is riotously funny and relentlessly nasty at the same time. More textured characters include Louis C.K. as a fellow writer and Michael Stuhlbarg as conflicted actor Edward G. Robinson. All of the actors are excellent, anchored by Cranston's wonderfully prickly Oscar-nominated turn as a bullheaded man who hilariously seizes every opportunity to make an inspiring speech.
Continue reading: Trumbo Review
This may look like it's going to be a zany Christmas romp, but it's really a warm exploration of family connections, essentially an American take on Love Actually's multi-strand comedy-drama. At least it has an unusually strong cast and moments of hilarity scattered throughout the story. And while it's never very deep, the themes are strongly resonant.
The Cooper family is gathering for what Charlotte (Diane Keaton) hopes will be one last perfect Christmas together. She knows that her 40-year marriage to Sam (John Goodman) is on the brink, but is ignoring that to plan a massive dinner. Their son Hank (Ed Helms) is stinging from divorce and unemployment, while daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) has picked up a hunky soldier (Jake Lacy) in the airport and asks him to pose as her boyfriend so her family will stop asking about her love life. Meanwhile, Charlotte's father Bucky (Alan Arkin) is trying to cheer up his favourite waitress (Amanda Seyfried), and Charlotte's sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) is delayed when a cop (Anthony Mackie) arrests her for shoplifting.
Narrated with wry joviality by Steve Martin, the interwoven stories are fairly simplistic, but each touches a raw nerve. And the above-average cast brings out the underlying themes without overplaying their scenes. Keaton and Goodman add subtle shades to the slightly undemanding central roles, while Arkin finds a couple of new textures to his usual twinkly grandad persona. Helms and Wilde strike the right balance in their intriguingly unlikeable roles, while Tomei gets the most complex character as a woman who feels like she's merely watched her life drift along. By contrast, the outsiders played by Seyfried, Lacy and Mackie are much less defined, but each actor brings just enough magnetic energy. The most wasted performer is June Squibb, as a ditzy old aunt who's little more than the requisite gross-out relative.
Continue reading: Love The Coopers (aka Christmas With The Coopers) Review
Michael London , Guest - Celebrities attend the U.S. Premiere of TRUMBO at Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. at Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 27th October 2015
John Goodman is in negotiations to star alongside Helen Mirren and Bryan Cranston in the upcoming film about the life of American screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo,
John Goodman is in talks to join the cast of 'Trumbo'.
'The Monuments Men' star is in early negotiations to take on the role of a film producer in the upcoming movie about American screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo, The Wrap reports.
Helen Mirren has signed on to co-star as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper while 'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston will take on the role of Trumbo himself, who was blacklisted from Hollywood after refusing to testify before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1947.
Continue reading: John Goodman For Trumbo?
Helen Mirren is in talks for 'Trumbo' where she'll play the wife of late blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
Helen Mirren is in talks for 'Trumbo.'
The 'RED 2' actress is negotiating a role to star opposite Bryan Cranston in the biopic which is based on the life of the late blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, according to Variety.com.
The American screenwriter and novelist - who died age 70, in September 1976 - refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry.
Continue reading: Helen Mirren In Talks For Trumbo
Kiefer Sutherland, Brendan Fraser and Eva Longoria have joined the cast of 'Married and Cheating' alongside Sarah Jessica Parker.
The acting trio will star with Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie, which follows three couples who deal with ''infidelity, deceit and confusion''.
Marissa Tomei was previously linked to the film, which is being written and directed by Raymond De Felitta, but it is believed she has now left the project.
Continue reading: Married And Cheating Cast Expands
Mike (Giamatti) is a New Jersey lawyer struggling to make ends meet when he discovers he can earn a bit extra as the guardian of senile client Leo (Young).
But his wife Jackie (Ryan) only finds out when Leo's 16-year-old grandson Kyle (Shaffer) turns up needing a place to stay while his mother (Lynskey) goes through rehab. To keep him busy, Mike invites Kyle along to the wrestling practice he coaches with his friends (Tambor and Cannavale). Surprise: Kyle's a gifted wrestler who may help the team win for a change.
Continue reading: Win Win Review
Sarah Jessica Parker is set to star in Raymond De Felitta-directed comedy 'Married and Cheating' alongside Marisa Tomei.
Sarah Jessica Parker is in negotiations for indie comedy 'Married and Cheating'.
The 'Sex And The City' star - who is currently filming romantic comedy 'I Don't Know How She Does It' in New York - would star alongside Marisa Tomei in the movie, set to be directed by Raymond De Felitta.
The movie, which is set in New York and Paris, tells the tale of three married couples who are struggling to stay happy and in long-term relationships.
Continue reading: Sarah Jessica Parker To Join Married And Cheating?
Milk finds experimental auteur Gus Van Sant taking cautious steps back toward the mainstream to celebrate Harvey's accomplishments. Van Sant's tender human-interest story, which showcases Sean Penn's considerable talents, is a closer relative to earlier efforts such as Finding Forrester or Good Will Hunting than to recent, abstruse features like Elephant, the spare Gerry, or the haunting Last Days.
Continue reading: Milk Review
It's 1882, and the intimidating landowner Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) casts a long shadow over the New Mexico town of Appaloosa. With three booming gun blasts, the film establishes Bragg's cold-blooded disdain for authority and utter lack of morals. Man, how I wish Appaloosa gave this character more time to breathe, develop, and wreck proper havoc.
Continue reading: Appaloosa Review
For Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), existence is a stifled sleepwalk of commitments and complaints. He hates teaching. He hates faculty politics. He especially hates the lonely life he leads as a widower. His wife long dead, Vale just can't find a purpose. Forced to travel from his new home in Connecticut to his old apartment in New York City to present a paper, he discovers two strangers living there. As illegals, Arab Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and African Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira) have no real place to go, so Vale reluctantly lets them stay. When the Syrian Tarek is wrongfully arrested and detained, our quiet professor becomes his champion. The arrival of Tarek's mother (Hiam Abbass) from Michigan makes matters more complicated.
Continue reading: The Visitor Review