Review of Bombshell
By midlandsmovies, May 7 2020 04:15PM
Bombshell (2020) Directed by Jay Roach
From the director of Meet the Parents and the Austin Powers movies (!) comes a topical drama about the American Fox News Network and its culture of harassment in the workplace.
CEO Roger Ailes (a sleazy John Lithgow) heads up a news office lead by anchor Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) whose journalism work is undermined by sexist comments from presidential candidate Donald Trump. She receives little support from Ailes whilst colleague Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) fares even worse. She loses her job before subsequently attempting to expose the culture of abuse at the tv station.
Margot Robbie plays composite character Kayla Pospisil, a budding journalist who is harassed by Ailes. He promises promotions based on her willingness to engage in acts that become increasingly depraved.
The three leads are outstanding and are the film’s greatest strength. These resilient women are at different stages on their career, showing how the culture was both engrained whilst continuing against new staff members too.
Kidman’s frustration and isolation for speaking up is so well defined, whilst Robbie’s abuse at the hands of Ailes is far from gratuitous on screen, yet almost impossible to watch. Theron, covered in amazing Oscar-winning makeup and hairstyling, holds the whole thing together and the fact the trio bond over the situation is both fascinating and ultimately horrifying in its portrayal.
In the climate of the #metoo movement it would have been easy to make such a film preachy or give it a hammer-over-the-head approach. However, Bombshell’s success works because of its nuance and understated reality – which gives it a far more powerful punch – creating an engaging and imperative true-life story audiences need to hear.