Director: Jay Roach
Genre: True Story, Dramatisation, Comedy, Sexual Assault
Main Cast: Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow.
Runtime: 109 mins.
IMDb rating: 6.8/10.
My rating: 6/10.
Quick summary: How much must women put up with everyday before they have enough? Before they’re called names and labelled ‘sensitive’ for simply not wanting to put up with male sexual harassment anymore? How much are people willing to lose financially and personally in order to keep their jobs and save face? Step inside Fox News circa 2015 and find out.
It would be remiss of me to say that I knew the details of this story. Of course, it can unfortunately be assumed that America’s right-leaning news network might not have the best record when it comes to treating their female employees fairly and properly. This story tells the tale of the bravery of Gretchen Carlson (Kidman), Megyn Kelly (Theron) and fictional character Kayla Pospisil (Robbie), and how they took a stand against the seedy and powerful Roger Ailes (Lithgow). Gretchen Carlson, after being fired, sues Roger Ailes and the Fox Network for sexual harassment and unfair dismissal. We follow Megyn Kelly and her struggles with picking a side while battling a feud with Donald Trump and his fans, and Kayla as she discovers what Ailes is really like behind closed doors.
I feel like this was an important film. It brought a crusade by powerful women who had been unsuccessfully kept quiet to an international audience. Despite what some Americans might think, the rest of the world doesn’t know the exact ins and outs of everything that’s going on in the United States. I was amazed, though, that I hadn’t heard of this story. Maybe I am not as clued in as I thought.
I enjoyed this movie. Enjoyed is possibly a weird word to use given the subject matter. I was gripped by this movie, let’s say. I had heard of Kelly and Carlson. I know who Rupert Murdoch is and had heard Ailes’ name associated with Trump before. I suppose I had a general interest in the movie before knowing the story.
It was shot well, giving the impression that we were in the busy newsrooms with these people as the camera swung wildly around the more frantic the story became.
As far as individual performances go I just have to commend Charlize Theron on being one of the best actors around right now. She is believable in every single role she takes on, including this one. I saw her in Longshot and Tully most recently and she was equally brilliant in both. She can do action, comedy, drama and romance with no problems flitting between the genres with ease.
We don’t actually see much of Nicole Kidman but her performance in the latter parts of the movie is superb. She plays the angry, broken and hurt Carlson so very well, shedding a tear at her pyrrhic victory.
John Lithgow must have borrowed from his portrayal of Churchill in The Crown because he was just as boorish and misogynistic in this role. He exudes sleaze and the scene in which he forces Margot Robbie to hike up her skirt gave me chills.
As I said before, I enjoyed this movie. I think that I liked it for the individual performances rather than the actual storytelling. I feel that because the three leads command such respect and contain so much talent in themselves, we spent too much time flitting between the three characters. In this case, despite her story being resolved, Gretchen Carlson’s tale and part in the story and the wider implications of the story was left behind a bit in favour of Megyn Kelly and Kayla Pospisil.
This will be a big hit on Sky Cinema and whatever other broadcaster will give it airtime. It portrays a hopeful ending and a bright future for Kayla (Robbie), but unfortunately that hasn’t really transformed itself into truth in real life. Should that affect my rating of the movie? Probably not, but unfortunately it did.