Now showing: Bombshell (M)

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Luke McWilliams gives verdict on the biographical drama Bombshell, starring Canberra actor Liv Hewson, Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman.

Liv Hewson (left) shares the red carpet with Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Jay Roach and Margot Robbie at a special screening of Lionsgate’s Bombshell in West Hollywood last October. Getty.

In the offices of Fox News, political commentator Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) gives us the professional and political lay-of-the-land. After the sexist and aggressive public fallout of her interactions with Donald Trump while moderating the 2016 Republican debate, we flash over to seasoned commentator Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) who is inexplicably fired from her program. Enter the new, young and beautiful Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) who is quick to catch the eye of Fox News founder Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), who offers to help her career.

Announced shortly after Ailes’s death, the movie looks into the lead women who brought Ailes down. Kelly is our guide into the world of Fox News and that of the recent past: a world that did not believe a man like Donald Trump could ever be President of the United States. Carlson embodies the end-game of one who resists Ailes’ ‘charms’, whereas Pospisil represents the beginnings of a successful career in a transactional relationship with the odious Ailes.

Ailes’s leadership through fear and paranoia creates a toxic workplace, with staff (played by an ensemble cast) untrusting of each other whilst being extremely competitive for the sake of their own careers: pawns of Ailes’s machinations.

Verdict: While reaching to The Big Short and Vice, the movie fails to drive a clear, cohesive and dramatic point. Apparently, Ailes’s behaviour was much worse than what’s depicted here. Hopefully TV’s The Loudest Voice doesn’t pull its punches.

Bombshell – 2.5 stars.

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