Movie Review by Cindy Summers
Breeze rating from 1 to 4 palm trees, 4 being best.
Based on actual events, Bombshell recounts the brave women who brought down Fox News creator and CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, a scandal that exposed the longtime offenses that happened to over 20 women working for the man that created the most powerful media empire of its time. Released by Lionsgate, Directed by Ray Roach, Written by Charles Randolph and Starring Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, Margot Robbie as Kayla Pospisil, and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes.
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) was very controlling with the operations of Fox News, he would watch the network 24/7 and had a direct line phone into the production room where he barked out orders regarding how he wanted things to operate, one such example being that he wanted the camera to be wide shots to primarily include the female anchors legs. He also commented on the female anchors attire, saying that some dresses were too long, even though they were mid thigh which is generally not appropriate for executive offices.
Behind closed doors, Ailes would counsel female anchors on how to excel at their job and seek advancement, but would do it conditionally stating that he would need something in return for assisting them in their careers. His indiscretions were not only verbal, but physical and always done under the pretense that it was what was required to create a mutually beneficial situation.
Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) was the first to take action against Ailes, seeking legal advise to determine the best course of action to win her case. It was decided that it would be difficult to go after Fox News itself, but that they could go after Ailes individually for his actions. Carlson continued her employment for approximately one year, then quit and publicly outed Ailes for sexual harassment.
This created a media frenzy, and Fox News supporters actively attacked and threatened Carlson in public, as well as sending hate mail and using social media. Carlson was hoping that going public would help more women victimized by Ailes to come forward and aid in the legal case against him. It was at this time that Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) a new news producer at Fox who was looking to get into the anchor seat, became Ailes next interest.
Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) had been a long time anchor at Fox News and covertly began to seek out other victims, having had been harassed by Ailes herself a number of years prior. Kelly finally joined Carlson in the suit against Ailes, which uncovered over 20 more women who would finally come forward during the investigation.
This all star cast does such an excellent job at bringing the viewer into the emotion of the situation, some of which can be difficult to stomach, though feel this movie can be very insightful and supportive to those going through similar situations. Hopefully it inspires those affected to take action against harassment in the workplace however daunting, as these women were publicly attacked, shammed and threatened but they were also the first to take down such high level, well-known execs (Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly) for their disgusting behavior toward women in the workplace.
R (for sexual material and language throughout)