Almost fourteen hours after I watched “Bombshell,” I noticed something that I have not gone through in a very long time with a film:
It just stayed with me.
I understand that there are those staunch Fox News supporters that have already turned their collective noses up at Jay Roach’s latest film (especially after Russell Crowe’s turn as the channel’s head, Roger Ailes, in “The Loudest Voice), but this film is simply one of the best I have seen in 2019. Chronicling the journey of Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and what would become the undoing of Ailes (here played by John Lithgow) amongst sexual harassment allegations, there is also a character named Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), who is not based on an actual person but a combination of accusers of Ailes.
Add to that a cast that also boasts Alice Eve, Jennifer Morrison, Tricia Helfer, Connie Britton, Kate McKinnon, Elisabeth Rohm, Allison Janney, Mark Duplass, Ashley Greene, Stephen Root, Malcom McDowell, and Richard Kind (trust me, I can keep going), and this film is solid from beginning to end. With really three stories intertwining with each other in a way that all parallel together, this saga packs a pure wallop into just under one hundred ten minutes that at no point made my mind wander so that I did not miss a detail.
Also going to just put this out there: Charlize Theron is a FORCE OF NATURE. Earlier this year, she showed an amazing knack for comedy with “Long Shot,” and with her performance in “Bombshell,” she has planted her flag, stood her ground, and simply DARES any other actress to take any award that comes within a mile of her out of her hand. She simply commands the screen and BECOMES Kelly to the point where my wife even asked me if Theron had any work done, to which my answer was simply, “Nope… she is just THAT good”. For those that find her turn as Aileen Wuornos in “Monster” (which got her a Best Actress Oscar) as the top of the mountain, I say you haven’t even gotten to the clouds that lead you to that peak until you have seen this. To say she crushes this role is a serious disservice to the abilities of Theron here.
And those around her push this film even further into award consideration, highlighted by Robbie, whose emotional turn as the “every woman” is one that should inspire those who have fallen victim to atrocities like this to take a stand and be heard. Lithgow also wows as Ailes by portraying him in a way that truly shows how villainous this man is without trying to BE him. He lets the costuming do most of the work while he gets to be the master of his craft that he is.
No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, “Bombshell” is more than just taking shots at Fox News and the behind-the-scenes-and-doors story that made headlines; it is also a cautionary tale that everyone should see it as in order for all of us to be a part of a solution versus being a part of a problem. This is a masterpiece that even writing this over thirty-six hours later I still have it with me. Seriously, it is THAT good.