‘Bombshell’ Film Review – THN

A review of the film ‘Bombshell’, written for THN, originally published January 13th 2020.

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Bombshell chronicles the events that saw a number of women come out against Fox News founder Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) with accusations of sexual harassment, a charge led by fired anchor Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman). Soon enough, a number of women, including key host Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), begin to come forward to take on the toxic atmosphere that Ailes has nurtured throughout the history of Fox News. 

Bombshell comes from a screenplay by Charles Randolph, the screenwriter behind The Big Short. That similar fast and loose but informative vibe is what drives a lot of the dialogue in the film, with a lot of direct to camera address delivered by the women at the focus of the story, namely Theron as Megyn Kelly. It works well for establishing the politics at the centre of a newsroom and generates a sense of momentum that allows the film to feel like it is building to a big crescendo.

That’s where the film kind of ends up faltering a bit. It’s very breezy and it moves at a decent clip, but it mistakes narrative momentum for meaningful urgency, meaning that it never quite lands its punches in some key moments. As slick as the proceedings are, it means that some moments in the film go by without leaving much of a mark. The style of filmmaking weirdly lacks the sense of bravado and courage that a lot of its real-life and composite figures in the drama display.

Full article at THN, originally published January 13th 2020.

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