Film Screening 4th June, 2016

Poster for Trumbo


7:00 PM, 4th June, 2016

  • M
  • 124 mins
  • 2015
  • Jay Roach
  • John McNamara
  • Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, John Goodman

Trumbo tells the story of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was forced into exile by the barbaric witch-hunts of Senator McCarthy in late ’40s and ’50s America. Bryan Cranston plays Trumbo, impressive in splaying out the Oscar-winning screenwriter’s shifting charisma as well as encapsulating much of the tension and neuroticism of Hollywood at the time.

Trumbo’s story is a compelling one. Having been blacklisted by the government and made unemployable by the Hollywood studios, he spent 11 months in prison and faced exile to Mexico. He assumed a variety of pseudonyms in order to continue writing and was not officially credited for his work in America again until 1960.

Whilst Trumbo engages in mild Hollywood self-aggrandisement, it thankfully manages to avoid the sentimental and the overly dramatic. The occasional dollops of humour save the film from this potential to wallow in dread and misery. The film marks a significant genre shift for director Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) but is in many ways just as much of a product of its diverse and intense cast: Helen Mirren plays columnist Hedda Hopper, John Goodman is producer Frank King, and there are terrific accompanying performances put in by Diane Lane, Elle Fanning and Louis CK too. But it is Cranston’s enigmatic portrayal that has deservedly reaped most of the acclaim – including an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

At its best, the film is an engaging portrayal of one of the most shameful periods in Hollywood history, as seen through the eyes of one of its more bracing participants (and rejects).

Tom Baily

Poster for Dirty Grandpa

Dirty Grandpa 

9:14 PM, 4th June, 2016

  • MA
  • 102 mins
  • 2016
  • Dan Mazer
  • John Phillips
  • Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Julianne Hough

In Dirty Grandpa, Zac Efron plays Jason Kelly, a conservative and uptight young man who is asked by his former Army General grandfather (De Niro) on the day of his wife’s funeral to accompany him on a vacation to the holiday spot he used to take her to every year.

Although he is due to get married soon himself, Jason is left with little choice but to dutifully agree. Though as the trip goes on, Jason quickly discovers that there may be another side to his grandfather – a side that plans to party like there’s no tomorrow, and to drag Jason along every step of the way.

Say what you will about his role choices of late, but De Niro gives it his absolute all here and shines in his role as the perverted, depraved grandfather who is finally free to enjoy himself after the death of his wife. Efron, on the other hand, plays the straight man to perfection.

Fans of Efron’s are sure to be in for a pleasant experience too, as he displays plenty of flesh during the course of the film. De Niro shows some flesh too (if you’re into that sort of thing) putting on display a physique far fitter than one would expect from a 72-year old man.

The comedy here is without a doubt the most risqué of De Niro’s career, with the acting legend given the most outrageous things to do and say throughout the course of the film. But it’s all warranted by the ‘go big or go home’ mantra that everyone involved has clearly followed. So whether your demographic skews closer to the ages of Efron or De Niro, the central theme of the film – to enjoy life regardless of your age or circumstances – will no doubt resonate.

Robert Bourke