Saturday, December 28, 2019

Bombshell

Starring: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow
Director: Jay Roach
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Rating: R

Three of my favorite actresses in one riveting movie. I was highly anticipating seeing "Bombshell", which tells the true story of female employees at Fox News taking down the late Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. While it started off a little hokey with Megyn Kelly (played by an unrecognizable Charlize) breaking the fourth wall to give us a tour of the studio, it is an engrossing, disturbing, and finally at the end, encouraging story of several women's plight to end sexual harassment in the workplace. This film has an incredible cast, and a few scenes that will make your skin crawl. Overall, I thought it was very enjoyable, and it's more likely that the actors will be recognized during the upcoming awards season, as opposed to the film as a whole.

As aforementioned, Charlize plays Fox lead anchor Megyn Kelly, and the prosthetics do a killer job of making you think it's actually her. (I was hoping they'd do a little more prosthetic work to Nicole Kidman, who only vaguely resembles Gretchen Carlson.) We're introduced to Kelly on the night of the Republican Debate in 2016, during her now-infamous public quarrel with Trump. She becomes the target of many Trump supporters and the receiver of many threats. Ailes sadly, does not come to her defense, claiming it makes for high ratings and good TV.

Meanwhile, Carlson has recently been "demoted" from a prime spot on Fox's popular morning show to the "dead zone" afternoon hour. She's also been keeping a notebook of countless incidents of harassment from both her co-workers and her boss, Ailes. After she is let go from Fox entirely, she calls her lawyers and says it's time to act. She brings forth a lawsuit against Ailes, assuring her team that more women will come forward. It's months before anyone else speaks up.

Margot Robbie plays our third leading lady, a fictional character named Kayla, who represents every other woman who has been at the receiving end of Ailes' harassment. Kayla's dream to be not just on TV, but on Fox, has her doing immoral things she never dreamed of. The film tries to make sense of this vicious cycle and power struggle, and as an audience member, it's pretty repulsive.

While this is an eye-opening film about the toxic work environment at one specific company, it makes you question what other major corporations nurture this inappropriate behavior. No matter your beliefs, you'll leave the film proud of these women (and several men) for standing up for what is right.

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