Exploding the Truth
Critics have been very kind to director Jay Roach’s new Lionsgate/ Annapurna Pictures exposé Bombshell. It has been nominated for or won many accolades even before the awards season begins. Both Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie have picked up nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, AACTA International Wards, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, Dallas-Fort Worth Critics, Florida Film Critics, Houston Film Critics, London Critics Circle Film Awards, Satellite Awards and the St. Louis Film Critics Association. That is just a partial list of nominations. The entire list of kudos is too long to mention here, but the above nominations gives audiences an idea of how well regarded the film is to those associated with the movie industry.
We are all familiar with the sexual harassment cases that have exploded over the past couple of years and have involved men of high stature in industry, television, and the movie business. Far too many had too much power over their female employees and used their advantage to coerce many of them into unwanted sexual acts or affairs. Bombshell explores that unsavory phenomenon by dramatizing the story of television anchor Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and her battle with Fox Network’s mogul Roger Ailes (John Lithgow).
None of this is new to the public, for it’s been rehashed ad nauseum on TV, in the dailies, and in several television docudramas. So, don’t go thinking you’ll find new revelations that hadn’t been aired before. It’s how Jay Roach and writer Charles Randolph (The Big Short) present the tawdry story that makes it interesting for audiences. First of all, gorgeous Charlize Theron has been cast as the equally glamorous TV newswoman Megyn Kelly. The makeup people have plastered Theron down with special prosthetics, plopped in contact lenses to change her eyes, and whipped up frothy blonde hairdos to match the showgirl-like ex-Fox anchor Kelly. That said and done, audiences will be fooled into thinking it’s the real Kelly. Theron does such an outstanding job of recreating the blonde bombshell that we are all fooled. Ms. Theron is also a fine actress, and as explained above, has been acknowledged by many film critics for her superb acting in this role.
Enter the second blonde in the scheme--- Gretchen Carlson, played by the always beautiful Oscar® winner Nicole Kidman. She is joined by the newly arrived and naïve Kayla Pospisil, played by Academy Award ® nominee Margot Robbie. Carlson has her own show and is one of the top anchors at the network. Ailes gives her the axe when he thinks she is too much trouble. Carlson retaliates by suing Ailes for sexual harassment. The lawsuit sets the scene for the entire messy and tawdry story to come out in the open and is the beginning of the downfall of Ailes. Lithgow is simply wonderful as that sleazy, disgusting old lecherous man.
This film may not be everyone’s choice for a relaxing day at the movies, but it does portray a very important subject of concern today. Women must be treated with respect and fairly in their jobs. Being treated merely as a sex object is demeaning and totally inappropriate.
(Released by Lionsgate/ Annapurna Pictures and rated “R” for sexual material and language throughout.)