Bombshell

Charlize Theron in 'Bombshell.' (Photo supplied: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP)
Charlize Theron in 'Bombshell.' (Photo supplied: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle SMPSP)

WHAT IT'S ABOUT:

A revealing look inside one of the most powerful and controversial media empires on the planet—Fox News—and the explosive true-life story of the women who brought down its infamous founder, Roger Ailes.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

In 2016, behind the Fox News headlines, there was something sinister brewing in the newsroom – and it was only a matter of time before it became front-page news. The chairman and CEO of the conservative media empire, Roger Ailes, was accused of sexually harassing 23 known women in the company, including Miss America herself, Gretchen Carlson (played by Nicole Kidman) and controversial figure herself, Megyn Kelly (played by Charlize Theron).

The A-list cast of Bombshell delivers powerful performances as they recount the real-life story behind a whole new set of headlines.

The film starts with Charlize Theron’s Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman’s Gretchen Carlson and the ambitious fictional character, Kayla Pospisil played by Margot Robbie, in three very different places in their careers. Admittedly, seeing this on screen was very confusing at first – and I imagine it’d be even more challenging to follow if one didn’t know what exactly was happening in American politics at the time. It was a bit all over the place, until that suspenseful scene in the elevator you’ve probably seen in the teaser before.

Megyn, Gretchen and Kayla get into the elevator together, and though it’s a quiet elevator ride, it was such a powerful scene it had the real Megyn Kelly in tears. Because everyone knows what happens when Roger Ailes’ calls you up to his office...

From the way she walked to the way she pursed her lips when she’d talk, Charlize completely embodied Megyn Kelly – it wasn’t just the incredible physical transformation she underwent for the role that had you convinced. Her cold demeanour cut with scenes where she appeared completely vulnerable made for another spectacular, calculated performance by the Academy Award-winning actress.

But she wasn’t the only star who shone in the film.

In one of her best scenes by far, Margot Robbie does the infamous twirl in front of the Fox News CEO. Without the character created by several women’s accounts, that scene in the film and Margot’s performance, I bet you wouldn’t think a slow spin could be quite as chilling. But Margot gives an Oscar-nominated performance that’s enough to make your skin crawl.

But it was the subtle scenes in the women’s dressing rooms at Fox News that reminded you of a beauty pageant, the obviously scripted denials from the women in the office, combined with the delivery of Charlize, Nicole and Margot’s brazen one-liners that left you completely speechless.

“To get ahead, you’ve got to give a little head.”

“If you want to play with the big boys, you’ve got to lay with the big boys.”

Bombshell is subtly scalding, but it doesn’t shy away from the truth.

The film shines a light on one all too familiar story in 2016, and puts a spotlight on the fact that, even now, we have a very long way to go.