Bombshell Divides Critics: Fox News Drama Called ‘Ferociously Entertaining’ and ‘Awfully Timid’
Bombshell is now in theaters and the critics have differing opinions on the Fox News drama.
The movie tells the story of the women at Fox News involved with sexual harassment allegations that led to CEO Roger Ailes’ resignation from the company.
Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie all star in the film playing Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson and Kayla Pospisil — a fictitious employee at the conglomerate — respectively. John Lithgow plays Ailes, while Allison Janney, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon and Connie Britton also appear in the film.
Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times writes, “A ferociously entertaining dramatization of how an unlikely group of women exposed and deposed media titan Roger Ailes, it is as harrowing as it is triumphant in its depiction of the way it all came to pass.”
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times agreed, writing, “Here’s the thing about sexism: It doesn’t discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity prejudice that cuts across history, culture, political affiliation. “Bombshell” gets this.”
“You don’t have to like Kelly, Carlson, or the fictitious Pospisil to feel something for these women, intelligent, gifted professionals undermined by a controlling creep,” writes Stephanie Zacharek, a critic for TIME magazine. “But you’re always aware of their relative privilege, too.”
Other critics weren’t as impressed, such as Anthony Lane of the New Yorker, who wrote, “As often occurs on topical tales, which are hellbent on catching a widespread mood (in this instance, anger and disgust), there’s something hasty and undigested about ‘Bombshell.‘”
NPR critic Linda Holmes echoed Lane’s sentiment, writing, “It has a few strong moments, mostly courtesy of Robbie, but it’s both underwhelming and overworked, inelegantly structured and missing something fundamental at the core.”
Angie Han of Mashable writes the film showcases “an empty feminism that’s more about gesturing at progress than grappling with the work it takes to move forward, about seeing some women as symbols rather than individuals and other women not at all.”
She adds, “For a movie that wants to celebrate the courage it takes to uncover ugly truths and take down corrupt powers, Bombshell turns out to be awfully timid.”
Robbie and Theron were nominated for Golden Globes and SAG Awards for their performances in the film, while Kidman snagged a SAG Award nomination as well for her portrayal of Carlson.
On Friday, Kelly broke her silence regarding the film saying she had not been involved in the production of the film but had watched it.
“My husband @dougbrunt and I recently took our three kids to see the movie “Frozen 2.” As we walked into the theatre, our 6-year-old stopped at this poster promoting another movie hitting the big screen,” Kelly wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. “The ad confused him because it appears to show a picture of me.”
“But while the movie “Bombshell” is loosely based on my experience during the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News, I have nothing to do with this film. I did not sell the rights to my story or book and only got my first look at the film once it was past the point of any possible edits, though there are certainly some I would have made.”
She continued, “Watching this picture was an incredibly emotional experience for me, and for those with whom I saw it.”
“Sexual harassment is pervasive in this country; it can leave scars that do not heal,” Kelly added. “My heart goes out to those who’ve gone through it, who I hope might find some comfort in this story. As for my thoughts about the film, I’ll have more soon.”
Bombshell is now in theaters.
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