Trumbo: Blacklist Drama
Based on Christopher Trumbo's play about his hell-raising pop, the Spartacus screenwriter sentenced to prison for refusing to play ball with the witch-hunting House Committee on Un-American Activities, Trumbo the movie feels stage-bound, despite its use of archival interviews with the eloquent titan of the Hollywood Ten. This is no knock: The readings of Dalton Trumbo's letters to family and friends are starkly rendered—famous faces (Michael Douglas, Nathan Lane, Donald Sutherland, Liam Neeson, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, so forth) recite rousing missives without the aid of sets or props of any kind save for Trumbo's own thunderous proclamations in defense of free speech. And there are copious scenes from Trumbo's work in which his characters lay down his law: Say everything, but rat out no one. ("I'm Spartacus," damned right.) Still, the actors—most unshaven, wrinkled, so goddamned serious—steal the writer's movie, as they wring from his epistles every last drop of blood and sweat spilled by a man punished for believing his country was better than its behavior.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
More FILM News
- The Men of ‘Magic Mike XXL’ Look Great but Could Grow Up Some
- We Could Only Hold Her for So Long: Stellar Doc 'Amy' Summons up All That Amy...
- Debra Granik’s Stellar ‘Stray Dog’ Rolls Into Biker America’s Blended Future
- Asian Films Are Go, Again! This Year’s NYAFF Is a Bit Restrained — but Only by Its...