Bombshell (2019)

Jay Roach directs Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie in this recreation of the toxic atmosphere of sexual harassment and CEO abuse that was revealed at FOX News at the start of the #metoo movement.

Here’s a thing about echo chambers… by the time those of us outside hear what you lot have amplified into a big issue among yourselves we only see the absurdness of the interaction rather than the merit in looking at what problem has been overblown. Here’s a good example of that. The story of whistleblowing and gender discrimination at a reviled US media outlet… advertised to the UK audience with the image of three women getting into a lift with no further explanation. Outside of the US and certain tribes on Twitter these women are unknown, not the stars playing them, but the news anchors and interns we are supposed to care about. Given two hours in their company of semi-fictionalised drama… I do care. But the drama as told here isn’t particularly nuanced or free or smart or sympathetic enough to do anything more than rake over the bold headlines of another country’s gossip. We don’t really get to the heart of the abuses raised by a film whose voice is one of sitcom sheen and toothless satire. All three leads are fine in underwritten roles, John Lithgow proves excellent as beast CEO Roger Ailes and the support cast is full of familiar faces from quality TV. Yet it is hard to have a lot of sympathy for those who took million dollar paydays from FOX News Corp, a station that actively promotes politics that misinform the poor and channels their thinking to belittle people in similar boats to the working environment we are supposed to find horrendous here. This glossy, opportunistic movie never squares that round peg.

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