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Bombshell Explodes onto the Big Screen

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2019 at 16:08

Bombshell Explodes onto the Big Screen

from www.hellomagazine.com

from hellomagazine.com

I went to see Bombshell thinking it was a vanity project for Nicole Kidman (based on one poorly run interview), forgetting that Charlize Theron was getting the top billing as Megan Kelly. How wrong could I get?

This film is NOT about Fox News, fake news, propaganda, lies at Fox News, right-wing news, or other legitimate complaints about corporate media in the U.S. Bombshell is about sexual harassment in the workplace and specifically the lives of the most prominent sexual harassment and assault victims of Roger Ailes, former head of Fox News. Because the writer limited the film to the harassment case, the film was able to delve deep into the terrible choices women face in the workplace when the person who can fire you or advance your career is asking for sexual favors.  That is the power of Bombshell.

Ailes is played with sleaze oozing from his pores by the delightful John Lithgow. He’s a train wreck, in that you can’t keep your eyes off his horrifying visage when he is on screen. But the stars of the show were Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, the aforementioned Theron, and Margot Robbie as Kayla Pospisil. In a year with Little Women competing for Oscars, I hope these big women win the night.

I knew that a woman must have directed and written this film. Wrong again. It was aptly directed by Jay Roach, director of Trumbo and Dinner with Schmucks and written by Charles Randolph of The Big Short. So how did they do it? They based much of the film on memoirs by two of the scandals victims, Carlson and Kelly, put the acting in the hands of capable veterans, and they didn’t fuc% it up.

I don’t remember the music, so it didn’t suck. What I remember is the pacing. The film didn’t lag, dawdle, pause for contemplation, and that is because the plaintiffs in the case had no time to contemplate what was happening. And it wasn’t too fast to follow. If there was an Oscar for pacing, Bombshell would be in serious contention.

The make up on the actresses is remarkable: Theron could have passed for Kelly on a news set and Kidman could have fooled Carlson’s children, almost. Part of that is due to the actresses knowledge of their characters and the research they did to perform these immense roles and their skill to do so.

I admit that my disdain for Fox News and everything it represents helped me cheer more heartily for the downfall of Ailes. As it turns out, the other corporate news outlets aren’t much better covering real news, they are just less deplorable.

Rating: Pay Full Price
The acting alone is worth the price of admission.

Tex Shelters