Cast: Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Nazanin Boniadi
Director: Jay Roach
Rating: * * * *
Sexual harassment at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News makes for as compelling a watch in Bombshell as the TV series starring Russell Crowe in the role of Roger Ailes, the channels founder, chairman and CEO.
In the film under review, the corpulent Ailes is played by John Lithgow, and Murdoch by Malcolm McDowell. Intercut with archival news footage, Roach’s film recaps the controversy that engulfed Murdoch’s pro-Republican news channel in 2016 and gave a shot in the arm to the #MeToo movement.
When the film opens, we see Fox News awash with the titular blonde beauties who eventually channel inner reserves to battle sexist toads. Ailes isn’t the only one. Two of the women are from real-life – Gretchen Carlson (played by Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) while a third, Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), is a fictional character. All three (in award worthy performances) endure lecherous chatter spewed by sleaze bags. The women don’t like it but put up and shut up.
Until happily married prime time anchorwoman Megyn decides she’s not going to suffer the then presidential candidate Donald Trump’s put downs while newly sacked Gretchen sues Ailes for sexual harassment which new recruit Kayla has just begun to experience. So complacent are men about their misogyny, it boggles the mind that few realise just how it demeans interpersonal relations. The women’s arduous battle for justice is crammed in the disjointed pacing of power play in the end, Ailes bites the dust. I’m now looking forward to fact based features on that randy old goat Harvey Weinstein and the paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.