By Somerset Bellinger
The film showcases the necessity of the #MeToo movement through the portrayal of a real-life Fox News scandal
The numerous nominations Bombshell has received, including a Golden Globe, speak volumes for the film’s success already, both for its remarkable performances and its social contribution to female empowerment.
Bombshell is a hard-hitting drama based on the sexual harassment case of former chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes. The film follows the careers of presenter Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), under-appreciated newscaster Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman), and ambitious new recruit and anchor wannabe, Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie).
Bombshell is an engaging film with impressive performances from some of Hollywood’s leading actresses. Theron gives a particularly remarkable accurate and convincing portrayal of Megyn Kelly. It is made all the more believable by her voice transformation and notable use of prosthetics. Theron was able to embody the iconic newscaster and play the complex character beautifully. Kelly is a woman who openly rejects the title of ‘feminist’ not once, not twice but three times throughout the film. She also holds very controversial views, rejecting the notion or even the slight possibility that Santa may be black, stating on air that “Santa Clause just is white”. Yet Theron’s performance shines through, making it almost impossible to dislike her character. She depicts her as an ambitious woman who treads carefully around men’s egos yet ultimately recognises right from wrong when it comes to the universal issue of women’s safety.
Margot Robbie was also nominated for two Oscars, one for her role as a supporting actress in the film. She played fictional character Kayla, who, in the first part of the film wasn’t portrayed as a likeable character. Kayla is depicted as a beautiful, ambitious yet annoyingly vapid young woman. She also comes from a religious background with a backwards right-wing family who worship the network. Her character soon progresses as she befriends a secret Hillary Clinton supporter and liberal lesbian colleague.
Bombshell’s arrival is timely, with continuing allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct, drawing parallels to Harvey Weinstein’s current ongoing trials. The film dealt with the delicate subjects of sexual harassment and abuse in a dignified manner. Its depiction of these important issues are not exploitative or gratuitous. The film moves at a good pace, highlighting an unveiling of sexual harassment from secretive rumours to frank discussions and revelations of what happens behind closed doors. The scenes at the beginning of the film were mainly speculative, yet as the film progresses and the women come forward, the use of archival recordings of Ailes’ actual victims uncovers the severity of the matter both on screen and off. Bombshell is the perfect #MeToo inspired film and carries on a conversation that is important, relevant, and needed.