review by Bobby Blakey
I was wondering how long it would take for a big screen take on this scandal after the powerful Showtime mini-series The Loudest Voice taking on the same topic. Now director Jay Roach is taking on the story of Roger Ailes with Bombshell starring Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell, and Allison Janney. Can this story bring more light to the controversial situation or will it be something not worth reporting?
Bombshell follows the real scandal with a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it. Going into this movie I was fresh off of seeing the same story with the Showtime mini-series The Loudest Voice starring Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes. This film focuses more directly on the sexual misconduct aspect of it all and while great does have a feeling something more is missing because of the streamlined story.
Of course the overall history of Ailes leading up to it is too much for one film and wouldn’t have worked here, but I think there needed to be a bit more context to his rise and power to fully punch home his control an influence leading into the insanity that the women went through. That feeling could have been spawned because I had already gotten that story so it felt lacking, but that doesn’t change the power and importance of the film itself. The story is more important than ever in this day and age showcasing the ridiculous things woman are going through with some people in power and even why some do the things they do even when they know it shouldn’t be that way.
The cast are all great with everyone diving into their roles completely. I loved that each of the ladies had their own unique story that all culminates together into the same revelation while never feeling like the same journey. I am not a big fan of Kidman, but she is great here as Gretchen Carlson. She brings that suffering and power duality as she steps to the plate to bring Ailes down. Theron fully becomes Meagyn Kelly with moments that you couldn’t even tell them apart. She brings another powerful aspect to the role as she joins the fight and also continues to further her career the way she
wants it. Lastly is Robbie who brings the more innocence to the trio taking on Kayla Pospisil. She has some of the more meaty stuff in my opinion as she is not only just starting out at the job, but also the encounter with Ailes.
This trio offers up the varying time tables of abuse that Ailes was accused of an in turn kind of gives the needed back story through their own experiences. John Lithgow is great as Ailes and his make-up is outstanding. I wasn’t sure if I would like him more than Crowe’s take, but they each brought something different to the role while still keeping it familiar. This is a movie that does more than just entertain, but also shines the light on a big issue we have been dealing with more and more in recent days and thankfully its getting the attention it deserves.
As mentioned it does feel like its missing more of the story, but thanks to these strong performances all around it steps up to deliver a treat film that should be seen by all.