By John H. Foote
The Fox/ Roger Aisles sex scandal film Bombshell premiered in Hollywood last night, and as expected has given the major acting races a shake up.
The explosive film, directed by HBO wunderkind and Emmy winner Jay Roach, explores the horrific scandal that rocked the Fox News Network. Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) comes forward to speak out about unwanted sexual advances towards her from top gun Roger Aisles (John Lithgow). She seems the lone accuser until popular news anchor Megan Kelly (Charlize Theron) also accuses her boss of sexual harassment. Suddenly Mr. Aisles finds himself the centre of an investigation, all roads leading to his guilt, shame, and eventual resignation before Fox fired him.
Margot Robbie portrays a fictional character in the film, along with SNL star Kate McKinnon, slowing making a name for herself as a fine, reliable character actress.
The emergence of the film, until last night, one of four still previously unseen that could compete for Academy Awards, causes a major shake up in three acting categories.
Theron, an Academy Award winner for her transformative performance as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003) should be up for Best Actress again for what is said to be a brilliant piece of acting as Kelly. In fact, early reviews, or comments from major critics have said she will challenge frontrunner Renée Zellweger in Judy for that coveted Oscar. Widely respected for her shape shifting abilities as an actress, she often plays down her beauty for a part.
Kidman, who won her Oscar the year before Theron for The Hours (2002) as doomed writer Virginia Woolf, should also be nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work as Carlson. She might be competing against cast mate Margot Robbie, who will be nominated for either this film or Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
The last time John Lithgow was an Oscar nominee was in consecutive years, 1982 and 1983 for, respectively, The World According to Gary (1982) and Terms of Endearment (1983). In the years since he has won multiple Emmy Awards for his work in television as the goofy alien trying to blend on earth in Third Rock from the Sun and, best of all, as a deadly serial killer on HBO’s Dexter. He very well could be among the final five for Supporting Actor, though admittedly it is a very competitive category. No question someone great will be left out.
Globe nominations are likely for all in the Drama category and SAG as well, where it could be up for Ensemble.
Indeed. Expect more along the way as more late arriving films are premiered.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.