The true story of the sexual harassment scandal
that brought down Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Charles Randolph
Starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie,
John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Malcolm McDowell,
Allison Janney, Connie Britton, Liv Hewson, Mark Duplass
Oscar Wins - Best Makeup
Oscar Nominations - Best Actress (Charlize Theron),
Best Supporting Actress (Margot Robbie)
I'm no fan of Fox News, and I think everyone who benefits from that network has been dumbing down modern society for decades. But no woman deserves to go through what Roger Ailes did to these women. Constant innuendos, sexual favors in exchange for job opportunity, and essentially selling your soul to Fox News. But then, thanks to Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson (Kidman), the truth got out and dozens of women came forward with similar stories that took Ailes down for good. Was it a perfect solution? No. Were there real consequences for his actions? Of course not. But it represented the beginning of real change in the industry, and this movie tells the story of the women who made it happen.
Charlize Theron plays Megyn Kelly, arguably the most famous woman to come out of Fox News, and the one portrayal in the film that I wholeheartedly disagree with. Bombshell paints Kelly as a trustworthy anchor who was bullied into submission but always wanted to do the right thing and truly be fair and balanced. In reality, Megyn Kelly used her boost in celebrity status with the Trump feud and Roger Ailes harassment suit to leverage a multimillion dollar television deal with NBC, which she later lost because she was crazy and difficult. So let's not pretend she's a saint. Despite these inaccuracies, Theron is phenomenal in her performance, as are Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, and Nicole Kidman. The cast is certainly not a problem, but the decision to paint certain major players at Fox News as even slightly moral is frankly uncomfortable. Rationally thinking people know who these people are and what they represent.
Bombshell does a great job telling a series of painful stories in regards to what Roger Ailes made these women do. Margot Robbie's story is particularly harrowing. It was also really cool to see Malcolm McDowell play ruthless billionaire Rupert Murdoch. I've no doubt this film will get widely ignored come Oscar time. But it is a decent watch that tells an interesting modern story, and it equates working at Fox News to making a deal with the devil, which I can't imagine is far from the truth.