Writer: Charles Randolph (Screenplay)
Starring: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton
Plot: A group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.
Tagline – Based on a Real Scandal
Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Brilliant, Yet Shocking
Story: Bombshell starts as we meet three different women who work for Fox News, first Megyn Kelly (Theron) who is at the peak of her career, facing battles against Donald Trump, Gretchen Carlson (Kidman) who has seen her big spot slowly slip away, with her high points of her career going away, believing it is because of how Order Ailes (Lithgow) sees her and finally Kayla Pospisil (Robbie) an up and comer in the industry, who is looking to make it big in Fox News.
All three women are telling the story, which takes a dramatic twist when Kayla learns about Roger’s habits, which is only highlight more when Gretchen is fired, leading her to sue for sexual harassment, waiting for the other women in Fox News past and present to bring their own stories to light, to bring down one of the most successful, but disgusting men in the business.
Thoughts on Bombshell
Characters – Megyn Kelly is the lead anchor for Fox News, she is heavily involved with debates involving the Presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, which sees her own life thrown into the spotlight, when he has a Twitter breakdown fighting her. She has had Roger’s support through the battle and after the lawsuit comes out, she is the pivotal person that doesn’t speak out to defend Roger, when everybody was trying to learn the truth. Gretchen Carlson is the older (well in TV world) host that has seen her star power dwindle after complaining about the behaviour of the men in her work, she puts together the idea of a lawsuit, waiting to pull the trigger once she is released. Kayla Pospisil is the younger of the three, she is waiting for her chance to get put on the TV screen, until she is left shocked by the behaviour from her hero, Roger who would make it possible, she is left feeling helpless, as she doesn’t know what to do after her incident. Roger Ailes is the man that runs Fox News, he built the company up from the bottom, he does support his employees, though he does have a certain level of standard, especially from the women in his company. This is how he ends up being left with nothing to defend himself when the scandal about his actions come to life. We do meet plenty of employees that all have different reactions for what happened, lawyers that are calmly trying to get to the truth or at least a settlement and just how the reactions all happen.
Performances – Charlize Theron is wonderful in the leading role, you could barely recognise her either, but her confidence in the role is important to the story unfolding. Nicole Kidman is wonderful too, in a supporting role, but out of the three leading ladies Margot Robbie steals the show with two of the most memorable scenes of the film, which are both shocking and painful to watch. John Lithgow isn’t getting the praise he deserves for the film, because he brings this character to life with ease.
Story – The story here follows the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Roger Ailes the founder and showrunner of Fox News, which is told through the eyes of three different women, in different parts of their careers. Where this story really does shine, comes from seeing how to start with is seems to show Roger is a positive light, with how he is supporting Megyn, with her Donald Trump problems, he does give us hints the Gretchen could have been considered difficult to work with and bitter about losing her headline job and is shows the naivety of Kayla trying to get up the system quickly, all these hints show us just how important it is to see how nobody would talk, because they thought they would have been the only one. Once the floodgates open we do learn the truth, but the idea of showing us how easily sexual harassers could get away with their actions for so long, is interest and important to see. Where the story can sometimes lose momentum, is having so many different victims with their own stories, we don’t get enough time to digest what has happened to them after what has happened.
Biopic – While certain names have been changed, it is going to take some research to figure out who hasn’t changed, it does show how a victim will trying to spin the story to being their own fault, showing how the real victims didn’t know what to do, in a world left shocked by the truth.
Settings – Most of the film is set in the News Studios, it shows how closely the people worked together, how certain safety plans were point in place to left Roger get away with his intentions and how everybody would hear, see and be involved without even knowing the truth.
Scene of the Movie – Kayla’s late night phone call.
Final Thoughts – This is an important, brilliantly acted movie that shows just how predatory Roger Ailes was with his staff and how speaking up changed the world.
Overall: Important Movie.