Unfortunately for Cranston and the makers of Trumbo, it has all been for naught. The film has imploded at the box office, and even by the standards of a sluggish season at the movies, Trumbo is a cold dud.
…Based on the Bruce Alexander Cook’s biography of the same name, Trumbo tells a well-worn tale about the moment when Hollywood woke up to the fact that Tinseltown was underwater. Most of the sea was rosewater, with a vast assortment of pink “co-travellers,” but as Allan Ryskind shows in Hollywood Traitors, there were plenty of hardline Stalinists and admirers of Adolf Hitler working to undermine American culture from within the studio system, as well. And like a lot of the mythologized “Hollywood Ten,” Trumbo was in fact a Soviet lackey who followed the Comintern’s lines like a sacred screenplay.
Of course, this history makes for poor copy in today’s Hollywood, which has increasingly become dependent upon those denizens of the Internet who see politics and entertainment as two sides of the same cudgel. The better story, for their purposes, is that Trumbo was a victim of political bigotry. Like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Trumbo was a freethinker who did not fall into the atavistic mindset that demanded a puritanical allegiance to God, country, and American capitalism, you see. Trumbo names and shames the protagonist’s “oppressors,” from the fiercely anti-communist gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (played by Helen Mirren) to the ardent American nationalist John Wayne (played by David James Elliott). In other words, the enemies were Republicans—much like today.
Although thoroughly red, Trumbo still has to contend with green. Enter Bryan Cranston, the film’s talented leading man. Until recently, Cranston was not well-known for professing political views in public. But as the release date for Trumbo crept closer, Cranston, like a lot of actors, began to believe that his cinematic performance was enough to justify his own “expert” opinions. As such, Cranston has appealed to the left by calling Obamacare “fantastic,” while at the same time he has (begrudgingly) sung the praises of Donald Trump. By doing all this, Cranston has toyed with the milquetoast middle in order to deflect any potential blowback from conservatives on the lookout for liberal bias. Read the rest of this entry »
Alyssa Norwin reports: Jon Hamm finally had his big Emmy Awards moment! The 44-year-old won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, making it his first win at the show. And it was perfect timing, too, as this was Mad Men‘s last year of nomination eligibility since its series finale aired on May 17!
It’s about time!! Jon was so excited when it was announced he finally won an Emmy, that he didn’t even take the time to walk the long way up to the stage, and instead, opted to hop right on up from the front. But all jokes were cast aside when he got to the microphone, and emotionally and graciously accepted the honor, praising his fellow nominees in the process.
Jon has been nominated for this award every year since 2008, but has never taken home the trophy…until now! Read the rest of this entry »
The last half of season 5 of the Emmy-winning drama finished its run last fall on AMC. Series, which stars Bryan Cranston as a New Mexico teacher turned crystal-meth overlord, is produced by Sony Pictures Television.
MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for 2013 are (in alphabetical order):
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO)
Mr. Frears’s Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Managers: Scott Ferguson, Erica Kay
• First Assistant Director: Michael Steele
• Second Assistant Director: Nancy Herrmann
• Second Second Assistant Director: Ellen Parnett
This is Mr. Frears’s third DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category for Fail Safe in 2000 and for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Queen in 2006.
Mr. Mamet’s Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Manager: Lee R. Mayes
• First Assistant Director: Michael Hausman
• Second Assistant Director: Erica Fishman
• Second Second Assistant Director: Catherine Feeny
• Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Eddie Griffith
This is Mr. Mamet’s first DGA Award nomination.
Will the New Trumbo Movie Rehash Old Myths?
NRO‘s Ronald Radosh writes: A few weeks ago, Deadline Hollywood announced that Bryan Cranston, straight from his starring role in TV’s Breaking Bad, will play the Communist screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in the movie Trumbo, directed by Jay Roach, which will start filming next year. The film is based on a 1977 biography by Bruce Cook, who based his account on Trumbo’s own flawed narrative.
So Hollywood will be producing yet another movie about how the courageous and freedom-loving Communists fought the blacklist in the film industry and, led by Trumbo, finally broke it when he was hired under his own name to write the movieSpartacus.
The truth was that Dalton Trumbo, undoubtedly a top-notch screenwriter, was no friend of free speech and the First Amendment, which he purported to defend when the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) investigated Communism in Hollywood in 1947. Along with the nine other writers, directors, and actors who were subpoenaed, Trumbo took the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer the committee’s questions, presenting himself as a defender of basic civil liberties.
After some minor prodding by Andy Cohen and a very porno soundtrack, actor George Takei read his favorite bit of Star Trek erotica on last night’s Watch What Happens Live. We guess Bryan Cranston has started a trend?
While Walter White cooks meth on Breaking Bad, the Riverhill Coffee Bar in Glasgow, Scotland has been cooking up a heap of trouble.
Late last week, the shop’s chef made three batches of Breaking Bad-inspired cupcakes topped with cracked blue sugar, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the blue crystal meth that White (played by Bryan Cranston) cooks up on the wildly popular AMC series. Now a local anti-drug group and at least one Glasgow-based politician are arguing that selling the blue candy-topped treats is tantamount to glamorizing drugs and that the bakery is being insensitive to the plight of families affected by drug use. “The cafe might try to pass it off as a joke, but I don’t think it’s funny,” Green Party city center counselor Nina Baker told the Evening Times. Christine Duncan, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs, told the Times: “The glamorising of drugs is completely distasteful.”