Tony's Take

BOMBSHELL review

Exposing the Disgusting Antics of an Icon

One of the more powerful and grotesque films of 2019 is the sharply-directed and brilliantly-acted “Bombshell”.  Based on the true story of Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) and the downfall of his legacy at Fox News, the film focuses on Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) during the time of her sparring with then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Fox News Debate; fresh off of his controversial remarks about women.  Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) soon after is fired from the network and her ensuing lawsuit blows the cover off Ailes’ disgusting antics that have been going on for years.  His treatment of women, his behind-closed-door meetings, and other questionable activities as well.  As Carlson’s allegations come out, Kelly can’t help but to be shocked and saddened, as she herself has fallen prey to Ailes’ antics as well.  While she witnessing the quick rise of a young anchorwoman named Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), she confides her story as well; and the three form a team to expose Roger Ailes for the trash he his.  The rest of the film follows the downfall of Fox News and its following meteoric rise to what it is today.

While I admit I am not a fan of Fox News or what they stand for, this film is above political preference.  “Bombshell” sheds light on a terrifying, disgusting trend that was sickening and unacceptable.  Carrying the film is the group of actresses who are stunning, genuine, and downright spectacular.  Theron gives one of the greatest performances of her career, fully-embodying Megyn Kelly from her voice to her mannerisms, Kidman gives a strong, powerful turn as Gretchen Carlson, and Robbie is sublime as a made-up character, though her talent elevates the story.  The supporting cast members are phenomenal as well, led by Lithgow as the oblivious Ailes.  Allison Janney, Malcom McDowell, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Rob Delaney, and Mark Duplass round-out this stellar ensemble.

While the film covers very serious and painful subject matter, the film makes sure to point out that there are plenty more to blame alongside Ailes.  For years, his secretary watched these poor women enter his office knowing full-well what was happening on the other side of the locked door.  Countless men and women in the building knew or at least heard rumors about his behavior, but rather than attempt to find the truth they blindly believed in Ailes.  And while some may quickly question why so many victims stayed silent for so long; well you have no idea (as neither do I) the struggle they must have faced every minute of every day.   “Bombshell” comes at you much the same way as “The Big Short”; it’s quickly-paced and based on a true story.  During the 108 minutes, you can’t help but to share in the character’s pain, sadness, and anger; endearing-you to what these poor women went through.

While “Bombshell” may not be a film that appeals to the masses, Jay Roach has constructed a well-timed entry in the #MeToo movement that is both powerful and important; and the cast he assembled is truly superb and they demand to be seen!

4/5      

BOMBSHELL is rated R for sexual material and language throughout, in theaters DECEMBER 20TH!