Bombshell (Jay Roach, 2019) wr. Charles Randolph; Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Connie Britton; release 20 December

Several women decide to take on Fox News boss Roger Ailes and the toxic male culture he presided over.

It's probably my fault I didn't 'get' this. I didn't know anything about this bit of 'history' (Murdoch sacking Ailes). I found it hard to differentiate between not only the three main women in the story (see the poster) but others as well. They are all power-dressed in short frocks and heels.

I do get the Me Too movement, OK? I do understand that this is a historically timely film. I happened to watch it on the day Harvey Weinstein went to jail. But I'm still a bit confused about the different positions of the real Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson (strong women), and totally invented composite Kayla Pospisil (victim). It seems to me that there was more than one kind of lip service being paid. (boom boom)

Should I mention that two of the three lead actresses (Kidman, Robbie) were born in Australia? Perhaps only as a loss to the Australian industry and a gain to American capitalists.

A different kind of 'Australian' contribution is attempted in the last sequence of the film, in which Rupert Murdoch finally appears, flanked by his two sons (played by real Australian brothers, in a brilliant bit of casting: Josh and Ben Lawson). Malcolm McDowell has apparently never heard Rupert Murdoch speak, and thinks he does so with a broad Australian accent, which he attempts to give us - in one of the worst attempts at an accent since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

Pamela Hutchinson, in Sight&Sound: "Charles Randolph’s script offers a verbose primer on sexual harassment, for those who haven’t been keeping up. Although the exposition-to-camera in the style of his The Big Short (2015) is mercifully at a minimum, the screen is littered with captions, and the presentation by director Jay Roach is as slick and bombastic as a Fox broadcast. The leads share the corporate wardrobe of miniskirts, stilettos and blow-dries, and the film’s defining image must be an extreme close-up of pink glossed lips over white teeth. Fox’s culture is laid bare by a striking scene in which presenters defend Ailes to journalists over the phone while squeezing into shapewear and padding their bras before they hit the studio."

Christy Lemire, at RogerEbert: "It’s all weighty, serious material with huge stakes—emotionally, culturally and financially. But Roach, working from a script by Charles Randolph, finds a tricky balance of portraying these events with a sprightly tone while crafting a steadily building tension. Bombshell is both light on its feet and a punch in the gut."

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 6 February, 2020 | Now: 26 February, 2020