Bombshell (2019)

Based on real events, Bombshell is the story of the women who brought down the powerful head of Fox News, exposing the toxic culture of sexual harassment and coercion behind the headlines.

I was on the fence about seeing this one, mainly as I have very little knowledge of the events portrayed. I read that the real people are captured perfectly by the actors, but I couldn’t have told you who Megyn Kelly was – although googling for pictures, I am impressed at Charlize Theron’s subtle yet spot-on transformation. I’m even more awed by her performance, which is fantastic, as are those of Margot Robbie as the new, wide-eyed ingenue, and Nicole Kidman as the first woman to risk everything by going public and trying to bring down the all-powerful Roger Ailes (John Lithgow, fantastically slimy).

I think the real ‘shock’ is how recent the events portrayed are. This is set in 2016, not the 60s or 70s, not a point where we can nod sagely and say ‘how times have changed’. This is three frickin’ years ago, that people thought they could get away with such behaviour. That’s… chilling.

Still, I thought I lost a little of the impact by being so unfamiliar with the players and events. For me, the ‘setting’ detail that really shone out was a lot of stuff about Donald Trump. They’ve used archive footage, and wow is it damning – and almost unthinkable that they could make a movie with this kind of thing about the *current* president.

I could hope it all might serve as a cautionary tale for some, too, but… hmm!

I also enjoyed the last act catalog of cameos – so many great actresses given 2 or 3 lines but still taking part. The stylistic choices fit perfectly, with frequent to-camera statements that bring the audience in seeming very natural given the newsroom setting.

Powerful and eye-opening, Bombshell is worth the watch for the outstanding performances and a story well-told

Released: 17th January 2020 (UK)
Viewed: 17th January 2020
Running time: 109 minutes
Rated: 15

My rating: 8/10

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