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Film review: ‘Bombshell’ – a story for our times

Charlize Theron as ‘Megyn Kelly’ and Liv Hewson as ‘Lily Balin’ in BOMBSHELL. Photo Credit: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle.

Film review: ‘Bombshell’ – a story for our times

Bombshell is the story of US Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, who suffered a stunning fall from grace in 2016 after multiple accusations of sexual coercion/harassment were levelled at him from female television employees.

Film review: ‘Bombshell’ – a story for our times

Starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and John Lithgow (as Ailes), the film manages to be both an entertaining and informative piece of work, and a worthy talking point in the #MeToo era.  

Kidman plays Fox talking head, Gretchen Carlson who makes the bold decision to sue Ailes, a favourite of Fox boss Rupert Murdoch’s, after she is fired from her position.  Gradually, other employees and ex-employees come forward with similar stories of long-term harassment (some going back decades), until Murdoch is forced to take action and dismiss his long-time henchman.

Charlize Theron, who also produced the film, stars as prominent Fox anchor, Megyn Kelly who must choose between treading the safe line of holding onto her job or supporting her fellow employees in their claims. Margot Robbie co-stars as Kayla Pospisil, an amalgamation of several real-life employees. An ambitious production assistant whose dream is to be on-air, she is devastated to realise she must ‘play the game’ if her ambitions will be realised. The scenes portraying her creepy interactions with Ailes are some of the strongest in the film.

It’s fairly uncommon for a film to have three female leads but this one pulls it off, given its compelling subject matter. Both Theron and Robbie have been nominated for Oscars as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively; Theron is commendable as the strong-willed, principled Kelly but Robbie’s performance is particularly authentic as it dawns on her all she must sacrifice to appear on TV. The strong supporting cast includes the ever-likeable Kate McKinnon, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch and up-and-coming Aussie actor, Liv Hewson. Recommended.

  •  Bombshell is released in Australia and New Zealand on 16 January.
  •  Click here for MiNDFOOD’s interview with Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.

 

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