11:58pm PT by Scott Feinberg
Can 'Trumbo's' Bryan Cranston Ride the Wave of Academy Love for Hollywood Movies? (Video)
Over the last five years, three films connected to Hollywood, at least tangentially, have won the best picture Oscar, among many others: The Artist, Argo and Birdman. Therefore, one can't help but wonder if pundits — myself included — are underestimating the awards potential of Trumbo, Jay Roach's biopic about the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who is played in the film by Bryan Cranston.
Since the film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September, it has received mixed reviews and performed only mildly at the box office — a frequent comment is that it looks and feels like one of the HBO TV movies Roach has specialized in in recent years — but its subject matter seems right up the alley of Academy members, many of whom knew and, in some cases, worked with the real Trumbo prior to his death in 1976.
If the stars align and the Academy buys into the film and the considerable efforts made on its behalf by Bleecker Street — the new New York-based distribution company run by ex-Focus co-CEO Andrew Karpen — then perhaps the film could snag a best actor nom for Cranston, who is, virtually everyone agrees, as good as anyone could be in the part.
To that end, Bleecker Street exclusively has shared with THR a brief featurette in which Cranston's Trumbo collaborators — including Roach, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K. and Diane Lane — gush about his performance; Cranston himself talks about the character; and archival footage of Trumbo is shown moments before footage of Cranston as Trumbo is shown, hammering home just how much the actor tapped into the man.