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Bombshell (2019)


Hi Welcome to the Film Review Podcast. My name is Vince. Leo I am the author of the film. Review website quips dot net. I check out over four thousand of my written reviews and read any time clips dot net is where to go. WIP Dot net. While you're there. Yeah I do encourage you to check out my podcast. It's called around the world in eighty s movies obviously covering films of the nineteen eighties and you can check them all out. I've got over one hundred reviews at least at the time of this recording. You can check out anytime. Just go to quit. Stir Dot net. And you'll find the link today. I'm going to be looking at a film. That is getting some Oscar buzz. It is called bombshell. It is a film that features. Some pretty notable actors. Here Charlene Darren Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie are the main stars. John Lithgow also appears in the sizable supporting role. It's an R. rated film it does have sexual material and language throughout the run. Time is an hour and forty eight minutes. In addition to those stars Kate Mckinnon Mark Do plus us. Connie Britton. Allison Janney and Malcolm McDowell are also in the film the director is Jay Roach and the screenplay credited to Charles Randolph now bombshell all is somewhat loose recounting of the toxic and cultish an highly sexist atmosphere that permeated Fox News under the tenure of it's CEO. Roger ailes most of the events that take place in bombshell occur in the year twenty sixteen or so so during the middle of the presidential race that would culminate in Donald Trump's election. It's in this period that a fading Fox star named Gretchen. Carlson would find herself on the outs- at Fox and she would end up filing an explosive sexual harassment charge against Roger Ailes who was considered the most influential man in news. At the time time. That was a moniker that only fed into his own narcissistic notions of being special and above normal rules. Something that would come into play as we come to find Out In the course of this film Fox News gave many women breaks in the news business. However many of them were objectified ailes wanted to them the show off a certain sex appeal on the air to deliver the news to their viewers Gretchen? Carlson in this film is played by Nicole. Kidman but the main star if you go by screen time is Charlene. Darren as Megan Kelly kind of in a third wheel here is Margot Robbie. She Co Stars as this composite character. Who is based on several of Roger? ailes two dozen or so accusers. Her name was Kayla in the film. She's young and ambitious devoutly Christian. She's a firm believer in the Fox News Commission. She's also beautiful and that's enough to catch Roger ailes eye. He ends up offering her a fast pass to success with them at work. If you can get something from this relationship in terms of sex power exchange the gratification of his ego unquestioning loyalty you name. It he probably will gain more from the relationship. Although it is set New York much of the action had been shot in Los Angeles for the purpose of this film The Los Angeles Times building here. Substituting for news corps primarily because Fox News would not let the filmmakers come by to shoot in and around their premises for obvious reasons in addition to meticulous research in in order to recreate the interiors of the Fox News offices some sets were based on some sneaky photographs from people that they had surreptitiously film on the inside. The reason a closeness to authenticity is needed for the purpose of this film is that much of the power of bombshell as a film comes through having us feel like we are there in the room room with the characters undergoing their feelings and being tasked with certain demands of them that we might not get otherwise from film that seemed like it was just a dramatization. We we really feel like we are there in the room many times one of the main reasons that many men within a company tend to not side with women who assert sexual harassment is. Because it's never happened to us. I mean we've not witnessed happening. Also so we as men tend to not be as able to empathize but bombshell really does take us into this world of the female employees at least Fox News and it does show the perpetual feeling of harassment and objectification that women have to deal with on a day-to-day basis in order or to feel secure and have a chance to advance. It really is successful. In that regard now the notion to make a film came shortly after Roger ailes death in two thousand seventeen and took pictures to control of helping the project proceed. Forward Charles ran off was hired to come up with a script due to his prior work especially in being the CO writer of the big short another big political film. That had Oscar buzz as well. The working title for the film at least at that time was called fair and balanced fair and balanced being a reference to Fox News. One time famous slogan they later changed the film to bombshell for the fact that this new story was a bombshell revelation for the news industry and that was delivered by women at Fox News who were often hired because of their looks making them also bombshells of a sort Jay Roach ear. The director he was attached to in two thousand eighteen after are being approached by Charlene. Darren herself she took on a producer role at the behest of Jay Roach. At the time he was approached he thought that somehow women needed to be more involved in the decision in making in a sexual harassment film that was written and directed by men. He was brought in to take control of the film based on his experience with acclaimed political dramas. He Made Game Change Range and recount and all the way and trump bow and a lot of other actually find dramatic retailing's of political events not long afterward though there. There was a major roadblock that would end up emerging Anna perner pictures dropped out of making the film two weeks prior to shooting being scheduled to begin and with so many actors in this film. That was a very small window for the shoot. This ended up with the producers having scrambled to see if they can find a studio that was willing to pick up the financing to see it to completion and several major. Did your studios did pass on it. Until Charlie herrin ended up pulling some strings with those she had worked with in the past mainly bronze studios who signed on two days later and lionsgate stepped in to take on the distribution so all ended up being well in the end although the film starts off by breaking the fourth wall very similar to the big short in that regard bombshell does not stay in snarky mode throughout the rest of the film. Jay Roach ear pixes spots as to when he thinks things should be stylized and even then he sticks with using classic techniques montage Russian musical interludes to try to accentuate the tone and the tempo instead of trying to go for Meta moments to engage directly with the audience. An inauthentic way. Think it's much more relatable all to audiences to see what the women go through here then the nature of the big short which was much more about economics that most people don't fully grasped although Roger Ailes the story of narcissism and how he corrupted those who came close to his orbit. Power will be said to be kind of in its way an indictment against donald trump. The film really does not go full full-bore in that direction although trump does factor into the story because it's hard to avoid him his relationship with Roger Ailes and the channel as well as making Kelly struggles at Fox come directly from challenging trump at one of the televised debates due to his degrading comments about women he gets taken up to the task in in response after the Bait. Donald trump actually really did come after Kelly for it on twitter and ironically calling her a bimbo and the lightweight and in a CNN interview. He also made vague and indirect references to possibly Minster Rating. I mean the quote was you could see. There was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever he attributed that to being part of the reason why she seemed angry with him at the time. Now with actual public figures. Jay Roach and Charles Randolph decided to take an approach trying to depict events as they actually happened or would would likely have occurred behind the scenes given what we know about these public figures rather than try to shape the narrative. Artificially to drive home. The main themes so bombshell it was filmed in about five and a half half weeks. It required about two hundred and thirty scenes and around one hundred speaking parts in the film so quite a big project. Some of that had to be winnowed out to help the film get down onto an economical one hundred and eight minutes runtime and despite all of that Jay Roach does end up slowing down the film when he should he had some silence into the world of Fast Paced News and people don't interact while they're elevator and that makes the silence somewhat deafening at the time and there are appropriate times where he lets us feel the weight when the film costs for for it. There's a tense scene between Kayla play by Margot Robbie and Roger ailes played by John Lithgow in which he becomes insistent that she reveal more of her legs and then a little more and a little more Jay Roach does not let us in the audience off the hook during the scene. Although ails ends up doing much worse that we don't see thankfully we don't see do that. And that only furthers. The disturbing nature of this power interplay given how revolting that we find just on how he crosses the line in that one scene the level level of discomfort during the scenes of sexual harassment and the bewildering vantage point of the non supportive environment in the workplace is palpable. As I've seen in any film of this type now adding two and a half hours of additional makeup chair time to start every day. Charlie's therein suggested the use of prosthetics and makeup to make your look almost almost exactly like making Kelly. Spite the fact that Charlene Darren. Does you know she kind of resembles Megan Kelly quite a bit enough to pass without having to do anything but she adopts making Kelly's accident and her demeanor as well as her looks here. She thought that those prosthetic makeup would help her to disappear into the character if she looked into the mirror and saw making Kelly you there. Instead of Charlene Darren playing making Kelly especially in that distinctive nose and cheekbones. That she has for the film they worked with twice retired makeup artist Artis Kazuhiro who had one academy award for best makeup and hairstyling in two thousand eighteen for his phenomenal work on darkest hour. He did the fat suit for Gary. Oldman quite convincingly Vincent in that film Lithgow also gets a fat suit to wear here. Let's go did not want the prosthetics. He felt the opposite way. That Charlie's dear did and he thought that they would get in the way of his performance however they let him try it on and once he saw that he would look wholly different without changing the way that he might express themselves facially. He ended up getting sold on the idea including wearing this lightweight. Wait fast food constructed by four time Oscar winning costume designer Colleen Atwood to the women alone with him or Roger ailes ends up being a monster but that side of him is not shown to every woman and he can be generous he can be benevolent and even a hero in their corner at times. He's not shown as being a complete monster in this film. Even Making Megan Kelly appreciated Roger Ailes as an ally at times. Even though she was still definitely leery of his monstrous advancements that meet here very aware of who she was dealing thing with at all times now as many companies where sexual predators end up making big decisions for the company. Women don't view each other as friends so much as the competition competition. They are rivals for promotions. The even feel more compelled to give into the demands of those men who may be harassing them knowing that if they don't others will will and those others might actually get the job that they deserve. This is something that makes bombshell Ab- proved to be a resonant film for women who might be currently working under such conditions wins or maybe have in the past. They might feel more apt to band together instead of having to feel like they're suffering alone and people who run companies will watch this film and think maybe they they should clean house to make sure that things like this. Don't continue before the end up having to pay out millions to the victims and not only the victims but to the disgraced. CEO's or other bigwigs is in the company that they have to force to leave for their violations that do harm to their brand kind of expensive proposition to deal with now. Part of the Crossover Appeal of Bombshell L.. Will likely come from the fact that making Kelly Gretchen Carlson. And these other women who were improperly treated are not feminists. They're not even liberal. In fact the demographics of white women in in the United States they picked trump to be president over a white woman like them despite all of his reported womanizing so white women. We're with trump despite all of his in that department and yet these women despite the fact that they were not feminists and not liberal. The ended up a suing because they experienced treatment treatment toward them that they considered being wrong and illegal and should not be legal. A man like Roger Ailes only viewed women's place in his company as far as how their sex appeal could translate a to television ratings. He wanted skirt lines to go up and he wanted hair. And makeup to be applied always in a very flattering way and the bodies of his female on air talent to to be shapely no surprise that his eye toward viewing his female staff as sexually desirable. What else will mean that? He also looked at them that way when they were not on the television cameras Amazon found great power and getting them to show even more just for him in his personal office now on a couple of occasions the women who are in the middle of contemplating leading whether they want to come forward with harassment allegations the end up looking at their own daughters to try to determine whether perpetuating the toxicity of sexist work environments is worth worth the loss of career in the here and now to make it perhaps a better future or the world of girls and women tomorrow. It's that choice of throwing away okay. One's career in the moment reputation loss of money. Is that worth doing. What's right in denying someone's sexual favors or otherwise something that's very much in the headlines today? Able for whether you're looking at favors being done from Washington DC to nearly every major corporation. I mean it doesn't always have to be sexual. There is power inter-plays all over the place and whether that's right or fair something that the country is struggling with at this very moment. A bombshell succeeds as powerful look into the oppressive environment. Women have had to deal with in many companies around the world in a way that few films have touched upon. And that's what leaves. I think the most lasting impression in the end there may be certain things that are uneven here and there. There's some story angles that might seem unfocused or perhaps even some characters that might be deemed unnecessary especially the use of characters. That don't Actually exist in real life but I guess you could argue that those are necessary to show us what it might have been like behind the closed doors of Roger ailes office. I guess it's powerful so in that way. But that didn't even does keep it from being in the upper echelon of find movies of two thousand nineteen but I do think that it still remains a very effective and thought provoking work that's full of unquestionably strong performances by very talented troupe of actors who remarkably ended up putting this human face and very much deeper emotional residents to the reports that we often just read about happening in the news itself so for all of that I will give bombshell three and a half stars out of four three and now stars on my scale means that I do think that this is a good film and I do recommend it to people who would like this kind of movie if you like it. Rama's you like any of these actors or you just are interested in in politics or just really weighty issues that I think need an exploration on a much deeper scale. I do think that it ends up being a worthwhile. Sit for most people indefinitely. Something something that you can argue and think about well after the end credits roll. So three and a half stars out of four is what I will give bombshell days. Everyone for listening. I hope that you enjoy this review. If you end up seeing bombshell and you have your own takes on this whether you agree whether you disagree or if you just have something that I may have missed in my review that you want to impart you can find find all of my contact information at my website. That's quitter dot net Q.. W. S. T. E. R. Dot net. You can find links to my twitter. Feed facebook page instagram. All of those are adequate ways of up getting in touch with me and until next time. Thanks everyone and please enjoy your time anytime you get to go to the movies.

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