Bombshell features a powerhouse ensemble of actors with some of the best performances to grace the big screen during the calendar year.
We all know the story. Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) sued Roger Ailes over sexual harassment and the dominoes started to fall. Sure, Roger tried to get all of the Fox News women to rally behind him but not everyone was on board. Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) had her own frustrating experiences with Ailes some ten years earlier. Then there’s Fox News associate producer Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), who works for Carlson before moving over to The O’Reilly Factor. This is where she ends up meeting and befriending Jess Carr (Kate McKinnon). The dynamic between Kayla and Jess may be one of the film’s most interesting to say the least.
There are good prosthetics and then there are bad prosthetics. When it comes to John Lithgow, he’s buried somewhere underneath all that makeup and prosthetics. It’s not in a bad way. No, not at all. It’s up there with Gary Oldman’s performance in Darkest Hour two years ago. This is a case where the the makeup can make or hurt a film. In this case, it helps to make the film.
When it comes to the acting performances, everybody is giving it their all. Nobody comes off as simply doing an impression of the Fox News personality or employee that they are portraying. When you look at Charlize Theron, you’re not just looking at her but Megyn Kelly. Granted, Theron could easily have been a dead ringer for the former Fox News personality. The same goes for Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Gretchen Carlson. Perhaps, the only one that’s just a bit off is Richard Kind’s portrayal of Rudy Giuliani. This really shows during the 2016 convention coverage. The film uses as many actors as possible but does include the archival footage when necessary. As for Margot Robbie’s Kayla Pospisil, the character is completely fictional.
The film as a whole is complementary viewing to last year’s Roger Ailes documentary in addition to Showtime’s limited series, The Loudest Voice. Much like Vice did last year, the film does take a comical approach at times. This more or less is because of Megyn Kelly breaking the fourth wall by addressing the camera. This doesn’t change the fact that sexual harassment is a serious subject and director Jay Roach doesn’t let Fox News off the hook. Not by a longshot!
As far as the cast goes, The Good Place is strong in this one. D’Arcy Carden, Mark Evan Jackson, Brad Morris, and Ben Lawson all appear in the film. None of these roles appear to be super large but you’ll recognize them when you see them! Given the nature of Fox News, it should come as no surprise how white and blonde this film is. It only speaks to the type of people that Ailes preferred to be working under him at Fox News especially if they were on television. That Ailes even has a type is stressed when we see the six women come forward from the pre-Fox days.
Say what you will about Fox News but Bombshell‘s powerhouse cast is what makes this film a surefire contender.
DIRECTOR: Jay Roach
SCREENWRITER: Charles Randolph
CAST: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell, Allison Janney