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Trumbo review: Seeing Red in Tinseltown

By Damon Smith

Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) enjoys a charmed life with his wife Cleo (Diane Lane) and children Niki (Elle Fanning), Chris (Mattie Liptak) and Mitzi (Becca Nicole Preston) until columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) casts aspersions on his political leanings.

Actor John Wayne (David James Elliott), elected president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, weighs in on the argument and Trumbo is held in contempt by Congress. While some people sever ties with Trumbo to protect their careers, low-budget filmmakers Frank (John Goodman) and Hymie King (Stephen Root) happily employ the venerated writer to polish their B-movies.

Based on the biography by Bruce Cook, Trumbo is a handsome period drama that relives an inglorious period when various figures were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about their political affiliations and to name and shame Communist sympathisers within the ranks.

Belfast Telegraph

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