Movie Review: Bombshell

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"Bombshell" is a movie about the Fox News sexual harassment scandal in 2015-2016. It was released in theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.

Austin Powers director Jay Roach recently released a movie about the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal at Fox News. Bombshell, an R-rated biographical drama film about the late television executive’s toxic empire and the women who took it down, was released on Dec. 20, 2019. It features Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, along with Margot Robbie as the fictional Kayla Pospisil. John Lithgow stars as CEO Ailes, with Kate McKinnon and Malcolm McDowell in supporting roles, rounding out the star-filled cast.

While there are numerous moments in the movie that stood out, the one that I was particularly engrossed in occurred inside of Ailes’ office. After listening to Pospisil, who is a composite that represents the experiences of several women, Ailes tells her to first stand up and spin for him, and then to pull her dress up until he could see her underwear. This short, uncomfortable moment is one of the most unsettling points of the film, and is also one of the most accurate. In a stirring YouTube video released by the real Megyn Kelly, where she invites three other victims of harassment at Fox to join her in watching and reviewing the movie, all four women admit to being ordered the same spin by Ailes, and only one says that she declined.

However, not everything in Bombshell is completely true. In an upsetting scene, Pospisil accuses Kelly of being at fault for the harassment of herself and several women, claiming that if Kelly had come forward sooner, then Ailes wouldn’t have had the opportunity to assault more women. Contrarily, Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar and Julie Zann, the three women Kelly invited in her video, said that Kelly was extremely supportive, and that nothing of the like ever occurred.

Overall, Bombshell is a great film that deserves more recognition and praise than it’s gotten so far. It flawlessly embeds real Fox footage within the movie and contextualizes it. The makeup and costume team did such an incredible job turning the actors into the people they were portraying that when Megyn Kelly’s son saw an ad for the movie, he mistook Theron for his mom. While some scenes and events may be dramatized, the main points are true and clear. I also commend the production and writing teams on presenting this highly politicized issue of sexual harassment in a non-biased way, always showing as many different angles to the story as possible. The movie also poses a very interesting question: Does the plot of Bombshell make it a feminist film if the main people of the film don’t identify as feminists? Bombshell provides an inside look at the lives of news people who became the news by taking down the head of a billion dollar establishment. It’s a gripping tale of power and truth, and is a must-see for any fan of the current events and news.

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