Bryan Cranston brings his expertise to the role of real-life blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo. Jay Roach, director of the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises, creates a certain fun loving swagger to what is one of the more serious chapters in American and Hollywood history – the investigation to out Communists by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the late forties
While blacklisted, Dalton Trumbo won an Academy award for the screenplay of The Brave One which he wrote under the pseudonym, Robert Rich. In 1993, Trumbo was awarded a posthumous Oscar for his screenplay for Roman Holiday, in which screen credit was given to another writer who was awarded the statue at the time.
The trailer here moves along with some classic swing jazz, behind-the-scenes antics of Hollywood’s golden era, plus Louis CK as Trumbo’s fellow blacklisted screenwriter Arlen Hird (Oscar nod in his future?). The trailer plays out more traditionally than the others we’ve been nominating, but Hollywood loves it when films are made about its history and industry, so including this trailer for some sort of meaningless award, is just par for the course. Plus, any chance to highlight how awful elected officials can be when they decide to go witch hunting American citizens based on what they think (commie or no commie), and to give you another perspective the next time you watch Trumbo and Stanley Kubrick’s collaboration on Spartacus, I’m all for.
2015 Trailer of the Year Award nominees so far:
Our third nominee for the Trailer of the Year Award is definitely going to be a long shot in taking the top prize, but it’s a fun trailer full of all the right camera shots, a campy tone, with accelerating soundtrack all topped with Kevin Bacon as the bad guy with a mustache that might win ‘Stache of the Year.
Two young boys come across an abandoned police cruiser with the keys still inside, they decide to leave well enough alone, walk to the nearest adult and tell them what they found. Oh no, wait… that’s the boring version. These kids take that sucker for joyride. Sirens, lights and high speed, it’s all fun and games until the cop (Bacon) who left it behind comes looking for it.
Film opens August 7, I hope it’s as campy-fun as the trailer.
I may have used my “Trailer of Year” card a wee bit early this year on Mad Max Fury Road back in January as I gushed over the pure enjoyment it brought me, because the latest trailer to drop on the scene is for the true crime film Black Mass starring Johnny Depp as notorious Boston mafia hitman Whitey Bulger. This one sent chills down the spine, courtesy of the great chameleon that is Johnny Depp. So I’m going to keep track of the trailers that stand out for me this year and declare a “Trailer of the Year” award at 2015’s end. Consider Mad Max Fury Road as entry number one and Black Mass as entry number two.
Two observations: 1) It’s clear to me that Leonardo DiCaprio has been attempting to emulate Johnny Depp for the past 20 years. 2) The scene anchoring the trailer is a direct homage to the most famous scene in modern mafia film history – Joe Peschi and Ray Liotta’s “whatta mean I’m funny?” scene from Goodfellas. The difference in scene depicted here is, the stakes are higher because it’s not personal, it’s about business and survival. This is not a rip-off, this is a great example of being influenced by the greats and improving on it. We’ll see how it plays out in the feature.