It’s clear to see why both Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie have picked up Best Actor Oscar nominations (for lead and supporting roles respectively) – because their performances almost make this a ‘must see’.
Sadly the storyline development in this biographical drama doesn’t quite match their stand-out turns – sometimes veering into more of HBO TV movie at times – as Jay Roach’s sometimes frantically-edited take on events doesn’t quite go deep enough into the material at hand.
Through three intertwining stories to the backdrop of the 2016 election campaign, we see Fox newscasters/employees Megyn Kelly (Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Kayla Pospisil (Robbie) trying to move up the ladder in the cut-throat world of news broadcasting – all having varying degrees of altercations with Fox News head-honcho Roger Ailes (John Lithgow).
And when Carlson files a lawsuit for sexual harassment against Ailes after she gets fired, it leads to a game of ‘cat and mouse’ to which Fox female employees will come out in support or against Ailes – as the rumour mill starts to get into full flow as details of his lewd conduct come to light.
And it’s the three lead female performances (throwing Kidman into the mix too) that ‘make’ this film – Robbie in particular continues to show her ‘range’ by being Hollywood’s most-rounded starlet at the moment – even if the storyline doesn’t quite do their roles justice with some glaring deficiencies with scripting and pacing issues.
But it’s still a very poignant film – even thought it’s no Spotlight – and provides an aptly powerful message that needed to be heard.
ESP Rating: 3.5/5
Cast: Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow, Kate Mckinnon, Allison Janney, Rob Delaney, Mark Duplass, Malcolm Mcdowell, Richard Kind & Connie Britton
Running Time: 1 Hr 49 Mins
Director: Jay Roach
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