OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Bombshell

Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Actress (Charlize Theron) and Best Supporting Actress (Margot Robbie)

Evening news anchor Gretchen Carlson’s 2016 sexual harassment suit against all-powerful Fox News supremo Roger Ailes explodes like a megaton bomb in Bombshell, Jay Roach’s juicy, angry, and darkly comic take on the real-life battle between Fox’s screen queens and the king of cable news. The first big #MeToo movie, it tracks the struggle to end Ailes’s 20-year reign as a sexual predator, routinely demanding female ‘loyalty’ in return for on-screen advancement.

Poster for the scandal drama BombshellDemoted to the afternoon show, Nicole Kidman’s sweetly steely Carlson, raging after a career deflecting Ailes’s slimy advances, is ready to start a war no-one thinks she can win. Further down the food chain, ambitious researcher Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie, a composite character drawn from Fox employees) is horrified that Ailes wants to eyeball more than her CV. 

Bombshell conveys expertly how emotionally and professionally terrifying whistleblowing is, as Fox’s famous queen bee Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) starts investigating a stream of passed-over and traumatized Fox women whose harassment complaints were career suicide.

What keeps the drama taut are the excellent central performances by Theron, Kidman and Robbie (some sure to shake up the Oscar race), not to mention John Lithgow as the cruelly predatory Ailes.

– Kate Staples, Total Film

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