The film covers such a massive bit of history with great wit, thanks in part to writer Charles Randolph who was one of the scribes behind The Big Short. The films tell their stories in similar ways, mixing reality with fiction. Also, there is voice-over narration, breaking the fourth wall and real-life news footage from the time of the actual events. It also shares the same pace The Big Short had, making the happenings more digestible and at times, even funny. Director Jay Roach, who was at the helm of such films as the first two Austin Powers films and Meet The Parents is no doubt responsible for bringing some levity to Bombshell as well.
“…takes the piss at the conservative establishment is coming out now when we’re at the behest of the worst said establishment has to offer.”
The most important thing about Bombshell, other than letting people know that even the biggest baddest bastards on earth can be taken down, is the performances. Charlize Theron is Megyn Kelly. The haircut, the mannerisms, and oh my god, the voice! She sounds exactly like her. It is at times hard to remember that it’s Theron and not Kelly on screen. Nicole Kidman also encompasses the spirit, mannerisms, physicality (including a chin prosthetic), and again the voice of Gretchen Carlson perfectly. These are people that were both well-loved and totally hated, and both of the actresses make them relatable and believable as humans rather than just talking heads. Margot Robbie is great as a homespun newbie just trying to make her big break, and Kate McKinnon is hilarious (no surprise there) as lesbian, Hillary-voting producer for Bill O’Reilly, Jess Carr. Other standouts that are briefer but worth mentioning are Malcolm McDowell as Ruper Murdoch, Mark Duplass as Douglas Brunt (Megyn Kelly’s husband), Connie Britton as Beth Ailes (Ailes’ wife), Allison Janney as Susan Estrich (Ailes’ attorney), and Richard Kind as Rudy Guliani.
This star-studded cast and incendiary subject matter are bound to get it on the Oscar shortlist, and if not, I will be thoroughly shocked. The film is a bit of Oscar-bait (just look at its time of release), but it’s also just a damn good tale about the downfall of a giant and the badass women that made it happen. I find it very refreshing that a film which takes the piss at the conservative establishment is coming out now when we’re at the behest of the worst said establishment has to offer. It’s impressive that Bombshell is able to discuss all the issues at hand all at once. It tackles the beginnings of what would become the #metoo movement, the radically unexpected rise of Donald Trump, and the transition of Fox News into a supposedly more female-friendly environment. Overall I think Bombshell is a solid film that everyone should see. I’m curious to see how it fares in the Oscar race, but I’m betting very well!
"…this star-studded cast and incendiary subject matter are bound to get it on the Oscar shortlist..."