When Gretchen Carlson slaps Fox News founder Roger Ailes with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, not a soul could predict what would happen next. Her decision leads to Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly coming forward with her own story, as well as multiple other women, inciting a movement that reverberates around the world.Written by
Based on a true story: Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) was the head of Fox News beginning in 1996. In 2016, he faced accusations of sexual assault from Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Kayla Pospisil (a composite character played by Margot Robbie).
Director Jay Roach orchestrates an energetic beginning with a very dynamic, fast-moving pace. This early segment reveals the fast pace of the work life in a news organization along with the careerist attitudes that go with it.
The exposure of careerism is fascinating: there is a secondary character (played by Kate McKinnon) who could only get a job at Fox News but had to take it despite being a misfit (secretive about her lesbianism and liberalism). Her Catch-22 is that no other news organization will hire her or take her seriously as she works for Fox News; the film also shows another side to an old cliché about women who acted sexually to advance their careers (I won't repeat the cliché here). In "Bombshell", there is more compassion to those who regretted such decisions and wished there had been a better way to advance.
The solid cast is great while Robbie (so good in "I, Tonya") stands out in a very intense interview scene that gradually turns into a harassment situation. Her face shows so many conflicting emotions including the excitement of career advancement vs. extreme discomfort with what is happening.
Some opportunities are missed including the chance for the main characters to deal with the inner conflict of working for a right-wing organization (one that has derided feminism) vs. taking on the actions and attitudes of traditional feminists. In fact, there is little evidence at all of the right-wing beliefs of the leading women. But "Bombshell" is still a good film whose subject matter and outlook are perfect for our current times in which the consequences of sexual harassment are better understood than they ever have been. - dbamateurcritic
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