#SheWatches Bombshell 

January 19, 2020


It is fitting that the first film I was invited to review for She Society in 2020 was Bombshell. Here at She Society we are all about women supporting women.This film stars three savvy and powerful women in a story that looks at the culture of sexual harassment. Australia’s own Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie share the screen with South African born beauty, Charlize Theron. Academy award nominee John Lithgow rounds out the leads. 

Bombshell is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it. Bombshell is based on a real life scandal and is directed by Emmy Award winner, Jay Roach and written by Academy Award winner, Charles Randolph. Thanks to Studiocanal and Think Tank Communications for this terrific invitation to one of the most anticipated movies of 2020.  

The Cast 

Charlize Theron is amazing as Megyn Kelly. It is hard to tell the real clips, which are interwoven, from Charlize’s magnificent performance. As I write this story Charlize has rightly been nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of such a recognisable character from recent history. Her portrayal was astonishingly good.

Margot Robbie is luminous in every scene as newcomer to Fox News, Kayla. Her character perfectly reflects the ambitious girl Megyn Kelly would have been when she first entered the network. Kayla is an amalgamation of several women who came forward as Ailes’ eventual accusers. She is mesmerising in the role and has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her stellar turn.

Nicole Kidman plays Gretchen Carlson, the flinty anchor whose star is on the wane and who first blows the whistle on the behemoth that is Roger Ailes. This former Miss America surprises us all as she seeks to tackle injustice in the workplace. Kidman’s cool demeanour suits the role she plays here.

John Lithgow is unrecognisable as Roger Ailes and plays the role with suitable bluster and over confidence. It is worth mentioning that this film has just won the Critics Choice Award for best hair and make up and has been nominated for an Oscar in this category. The transformations are so well done! Wardrobe is also excellent and reflective of the ideal Fox anchors. 

An all star cast including Allison Janney, Kate McKinnon, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch and a strong and entertaining ensemble cast of characters, ensures your interest never wanes throughout the film.  

The Story 

Most people would recognise this story from the news. It begins with tough reporter, Megyn Kelly having a horror year after calling out Donald Trump on his troubled history with women. Then Gretchen Carlson sues Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Seemingly untouchable in his feared, secure second floor office Ailes at first fights the onslaught with outraged staff and friends defending him.

Newcomer Kayla, who works for Bill O’Reilly is not surprised. She has been singled out after being noticed by Ailes secretary, Faye (Holland Taylor) for her blonde hair, mini skirt and innocent air. With Kimberley Guilfoyle (Bree Condon) demanding everyone wear ‘Team Roger’ shirts you begin to wonder where the truth lies and if there will ever be justice for the women. 

Several surprising revelations come to light, with Ailes eventually being brought upstairs to the eighth floor where the Murdoch family have the final say. 

My husband and I were both riveted to the very end of this movie and it was better than I’d ever expected. With a story that touches on recent history you might feel you know it before you enter the cinema. Yet, the script unfolds like a fast paced novel with twists and turns complimented by style, grace and wry humour. The terrific cast give us a solid recap on this compelling story. I found it an excellent film which approached a difficult subject with a deft touch. It is pertinent for both men and women in terms of the #MeToo movement, the recent Trump presidency and a changing media landscape. Bombshell drops in Australian cinemas today on January 16. 

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