In the run up to the 2016 election Fox News has started to make the news and not just report it as Donald Trump attacks Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron). All of this plays out to a backdrop of harassment led by Fox News founder Roger Ailes (John Lithgow).
The most striking thing about Bombshell is the transformation taken on by Charlize Theron to not just play Megyn Kelly but to be Megyn Kelly. Everything from the prosthetics to the voice feels utterly convincing and as far from Charlize Theron as you can really imagine.
The film plays out like something out of the brain of Aaron Sorkin, with smart (and not so smart) people walking and talking their way through the corridors of Fox News, occasionally stopping to break the fourth wall.
It’s a story that I knew a little bit about but I had no idea about the true extent of what happened at Fox. It plays out like a disgusting horror film with things getting more and more uncomfortable and unpleasant as the movie progresses. The film paints a rather bleak picture of the culture of Fox News in a real case of the truth being more unpleasant than fiction.
The central trio of Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) gives three different views on the same subject. Theron is the star of the show and everything hangs off her but Kidman and Robbie put in an excellent performance. John Lithgow is on utterly repulsive form as Roger Ailes, it’s a skin crawling performance and after even a minute in his company I felt the need for a shower.
I found Bombshell to be a bit of a conflicting watch at times, with the story feeling like it had lost its way in the middle section and then a resolution seems to appear out of nowhere. I think that it’s an essential film and incredibly uncomfortable viewing. The very fact that this all took place only a few years ago is shocking in itself but as the drama unfolds on screen it only gets more and more uncomfortable.