review

Bombshell: #MeToo at Fox News

Onze score

Bombshell tells the story of the women at Fox News who rose up against Roger Ailes, the sexist boss at the conservative news network. Charlize Theron gloriously wins the acting duel with Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.

More than a year before film producer Harvey Weinstein was unmasked as the filthy scoundrel who abused his power, and thus before the #MeToo movement emerged, an even more powerful patriarch with an unacceptable attitude towards women was knocked off his pedestal: Roger Ailes. The big boss of the successful, often loathed conservative news network Fox News was taken to court in the summer of 2016, accused of sexual intimidation by TV presenter Gretchen Carlson.

But the situation only really exploded when the incredibly popular news anchor Megyn Kelly confirmed through her own testimony that the feared news mogul treated women inappropriately. In this dramatization of the scandal that ended with the firing of Roger Ailes (with a golden handshake, of course), a third woman, Kayla, is a composite character representing various employees to whom it was made clear that they could advance their careers if they welcomed Ailes's sexual advances and harassment.

Bombshell is never boring, but it is tamer than you would like. Jay Roach, the director of Trumbo, Meet the Parents, and the Austin Powers films, tries to keep the film light, but sometimes makes it excessively didactic. If the intention was not only to unmask Roger Ailes but also the entire macho culture in which he was embedded and that makes it difficult for women to do their jobs, the film barely succeeds.

Fortunately, all the actors are in great form. Nicole Kidman (Carlson), Margot Robbie (Kayla), and John Lithgow (Roger Ailes) put their best foot forward, but Charlize Theron delivers an exceptional performance as the razor-sharp Megyn Kelly. She is the only one who disappears entirely in her character. Her Oscar nomination is more than deserved.

Fijn dat je wil reageren. Wie reageert, gaat akkoord met onze huisregels. Hoe reageren via Disqus? Een woordje uitleg.

Oproep: Lees of reageer je wel eens op online comments, op nieuwssites of social media? Wil jij bijdragen aan een constructief online debat? Doe dan nu mee met het RHETORiC-onderzoek en ontvang een waardebon. Meer info en inschrijven.

Lees meer over

Brussels in your mailbox?