Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman star in the gruesome story of Fox News boss Roger Allies’ ultimate fall, thanks to the women who stood up to him – here’s our review.
I wasn’t this site’s first choice to review Bombshell. Yet in conversation with people who were originally going to cover the film for us, there was a consensus that something wasn’t quite hitting the mark. One colleague was conflicted, feeling she ought to like it, but couldn’t quite work out what was wrong. Another reported the same. Thus, I accept I might not be the perfect reviewer, but one feeling I took away from the movie is that it didn’t feel very angry. I’ve no doubt that’s a deliberate choice, but I couldn’t help but feel it was letting one or two people off the hook.
The movie is the story of Fox News, its former CEO Roger Allies, and the women who sought to expose his sexual harassment. There’s an amazing cast here, led by Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, and the story is laid out clearly and shockingly. That Allies worked in an organisation over which he had tremendous power, enabled by a culture of fear for careers if anyone spoke out. Charles Randolph’s script goes about relaying all this in a boilerplate docudrama manner, and director Jay Roach shepherds it all to the screen clearly.
Yet not only did I feel that anger was missing – although as an audience member, I was happy to provide it – but also there’s not much sense of digging deeper into the story. True, the surface facts sustain the film’s narrative perfectly well, but there’s not much attempt to scratch the surface, particularly of the film’s supporting characters. The Murdoch family feel like they walk in and walk out of the film; it doesn’t go further than it needs in dissecting the Fox News culture… it manages to fill two hours with some good acting performances, and a feeling of just enough.
It feels a safe telling of the story, and what it presents is well told: I’m just surprised at how unwilling the production is to bare its teeth a bit more.
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