Review: Bombshell

It's not my job to protect you.

Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) is fired from the network and in turn sues her former boss Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) for sexual harassment. At the same time, anchor Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) grapples with speaking up herself after just getting out of a dust up during Human Dumpster Fire's campaign trail. Then we have Kayla (Margot Robbie) another Fox employee who wants to be put on air but isn't aware of the cost..

The very first trailer for this film was so polarizing but it came with so many questions. How is it possible to make a story like this where the heart of it is a network that spreads so much hate? How can we be asked to show empathy to someone such as Megyn Kelly, who is still out there saying harmful things?

The answer to that is ignore most of it. The awkward thing about Bombshell is that structurally, it's a very good movie. It's engaging, the acting is wonderful and the pacing is near perfect. It's easy to root for women to take down a serial abuser like Ailes, but more often then not I was thrown out of the film because it barely addresses the elephant in the room.

Most of the critique comes from Kate McKinnon's Jess, and O'Reilly staffer and a closet Hillary Clinton supporter, but it's fleeting. Her purpose is so Kayla can have someone to voice her concerns to. Unlike Gretchen, Megyn, and several other real life people, Kayla is entirely fictional. She's the audiences' avatar, instantly likable after a hilarious line about not knowing "secular artists" and since she's not a real Fox employee, we can feel comfortable rooting for her without all that extra baggage. At least, that's the idea.

I'm struggling because I truly did like this film, but I felt they could've said a lot more. The barely address the fact that Fox News is out there enabling these same serial abusers. That they spread racism and bigotry on their network unchecked. That Megyn Kelly, painted as a hero here gives us plenty of reasons to dispute that every day when she reports. 

As far as the acting goes, I'm surprised Nicole Kidman had so little to do, though I thought her Midwestern accent was spot on. Charlize looks eerily similar to Kelly. I'd often forget I was watching an actor until she spoke. Margot Robbie is the star of this though. To quote her own line, she's "freaking' phenomenal." Especially her big scene towards the end of the film. She's just a gem.  Liv Hewson and Brigette Lundy-Paine, who play some of Megyn's staffers are also wonderful and it's a shame they were left out of the SAG ensemble nomination. 

I know I sound harsh in this review but it truly was a good movie. I only have that one complaint, even though it's a very big one.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "That's all of our jobs.." - Kayla (Margot Robbie)

Comments

  1. You address the reality of this present situation with that horrible Fox network and news. It’s good she didn’t lie down and just take it. I want to see this film but I will take it as it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's a good movie I just felt they could've taken it a step further. I thought they would.

      Delete
  2. I'm curious to see this but I'm worried it will somehow be just okay. And yet, it seems to have all the makings of being an amazing movie. Yet, like you pointed out here, they gloss over things and I don't appreciate that.

    Will still give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely still think it's worth the watch, it just could've been so much more, but what we actually got isn't horrible. It's not a complete let down.

      Delete
  3. I was so frustrated with this movie's lack of focus. You kind of hit one my biggest issue. Carlson, who stood up and took a stand is basically left with nothing to do. More time is given to a fictional character than the woman who started the fire. And in the end I felt it was more obsessed with Fox News than interested in the women's story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. I was surprised at how little Carlson was even in this. It's like they wanted more of Megyn because that was their big showy make up creation and Kayla because they could make her sympathetic without the real world Fox News baggage. It is frustrating when a movie this good lacks something so critical.

      Delete
  4. I'm going to wait to see this on TV. I heard it has some problems but I still want to see it for the performances. And yes, Adam Driver for Best Actor for Marriage Story which I saw last night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES YES YES! And also I hope you enjoy Bombshell. It's an easy movie to watch, it just could've been better.

      Delete
  5. Hi Brittany! So glad to be back in the blogging world again lol. Love your review as usual. I'm excited to see this one. It seems like it just scratched the surface of the mess that is Fox News. I almost wish this had been a limited tv series. I feel like they could have delved deeper than a 2 hour film allows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you see you back! It's been a while. I agree with you there, that would've been nice.

      Delete
  6. Any New Year's resolutions for the new decade?

    ReplyDelete
  7. With so many stories about MeToo, did they really have to choose this one to make into a movie? I expect a good movie and I wonder if I will be distracted that it is dealing with horrible people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Megyn Kelly is the distracting park. When Kayla is on screen its easier to forget and that's likely the entire reason they created her.

      Delete
  8. I don’t even know when this releases in my country but I’m really looking forward to seeing it because of the wonderful cast. Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice review! I'd like to see this, but I'm kind of over pseudo-political movies that want to address things we're facing now, but not really. Kind of like Joker. They skim the surface of real events so movie goers see it but don't feel polarized as if a lot of Fox News fans are clamoring to see this one. lol I'll try to see it in 2020, maybe for award show season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can at least say that this one is far better than Joker in every conceivable way.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Talk to me, I'm lonely.

Popular posts from this blog

Random Ramblings: The Radio Flyer Conundrum

Review: Class Action Park

Thursday Movie Picks - Oscar Edition: Best Cinematography and Visual Effects