Trumbo: as accurate as Dumbo is about the circus..
Indyfreak - wrote on 04/23/16
At first glance, this looks like a breezy and glossy biopic of Dalton Trumbo who was famously blacklisted for his Communist affiliations and ostracized by his Hollywood colleagues. It looks like it's taking place in the Golden Age of Cinema and the acting is good for the most part. Bryan Cranston IS good and his old-timey manner of mugging the camera suits him well.
BUT...and it's a BIG but, what Trumbo is actually doing is insidiously whitewashing an uncomfortable part of Hollywood's history. The real Dalton Trumbo was hardly a champion of the 1st Amendment like say Larry Flynt or Howard Stern but was in truth a vocal supporter of Stalinism and the Soviet regimes that were in power in East Europe. Edward G. Robinson is portrayed as a snitch when historically that was not the case at all. And the movie disingenuously implied that McCarthy was involved with the Hollywood blacklist when that was NOT the case.
A lot of things happen here that were NOT the case because it helps make Trumbo into a circle jerk about poor Hollywood writers being victimized and their freedom of expression being violated or whatever. In the process, it ironically commits a serious crime often levied at totalitarian regimes: it edits history to remove the ugly reality in favor of a sunny fantasy that never existed in the first place. That is a dangerous thing to start doing in movies for an audience increasingly complacent with certain things as it is.