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Peter T Chattaway

Bombshell

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Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly. Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson. And Margot Robbie as a fictitious Fox News producer. (No glimpse of John Lithgow as Roger Ailes yet.)

 

 

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I really wanted to write this up -- maybe I still will -- but grading intervened all this week.

This is a wonderfully messy film, which I mean in the best possible way. I suspect that will lead to charges of being unfocused or not having a point-of-view, but it struck me as the better for that. 

My take on the film is simple:
Fox News is to Donald Trump as
Megyn Kelly is to Roger Ailes. 

Each recognizes the problems with the antagonist but thinks he/she/they can control the process. Maybe the film is supposed to say that the women make a revolution, but the postscript that Ailes got however much he did (multitudes higher than settlement) in exit money shows the process willing to absorb such hits without fundamentally changing. Fox comes across as akin to DuPont in Dark Waters...more than able to simply pay for the right to do wrong. 

Ailes seems to think he is above it all, so there is something delicious in the scene when he asks Murdoch for one last favor and Murdoch says "no," but whether that is a substantive change in how they do business doesn't seem likely. And Ailes (and others) seem convinced that they can turn on trump whenever, but much like Carlsen's scene where the callers go their own way, the film maybe suggests that at a certain point, the captive audience will reach critical mass and won't be controlled the way the controllers think. 

Anyway, I'm hardly sympathetic to the female protagonists, but I found the film an interesting examination of corporate culture and how much humans think they can be in it but not of it. 

I thought Margot Robbie was terrific by the way. Her character totally reminds me of some younger evangelical, conservative females I have met over the years.I don't know if it is personal mimicry or just imitation of a type, but boy she nails it. 

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Charlize Theron disappears into the Megyn Kelly persona so perfectly that it comes as kind of a shock when we get the one scene of Megyn Kelly at home *without makeup* and you find yourself thinking, "Oh my gosh, look, it's Charlize Theron!"


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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