• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Non-Review Review: Bombshell

Bombshell is a strange and imbalanced piece of awards fare.

On the surface, Bombshell looks like a standard awards season movie. It is a story about sexual harassment, focusing on three women telling three different stories exploring three very distinct facets of that sort of abuse. The movie follows each independently, as their narratives wind and interconnect, offering a holistic perspective on a problem that remains both far too common and very highly charged. Bombshell should be a slam dunk of a story, particularly in the era of #metoo.

Shell shocked.

Unfortunately, Bombshell chooses to construct this triumphant story of virtue defeating villainy within Fox News against the backdrop of the 2016 election. It spoils very little to reveal that the big climactic moments of Bombshell offer a stunning juxtaposition; the deposing of harasser Roger Ailes is set against Donald Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention. There should be something bittersweet in this, a compelling and complex narrative of culpability and complicity. Instead, Bombshell attempts to sell this as big heroic narrative beat.

Bombshell is wrestling with something thorny and nuanced, but instead seeks to simplify it down to a simple story with clear cut heroes and cardboard antagonists. Bombshell is a movie that asks the audience to cheer for the women of Fox News as the characters head into an election cycle that would be defined by Donald Trump’s admission of sexual assault, his casual misogyny and widely-reported rape allegations. This is – at best – a complicated note on which to conclude a film. Bombshell tries to package it as a feel-good celebration of sisterhood.

Kelly’s a Hero.

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Broadcast News

Broadcast News feels like it has lost a bit of its bite as the years went on. Originally released fifteen years ago, it undoubtedly seemed like a prophetic commentary on trends in news media, voicing an understandable unease at the line blurring between merely reporting the news and “selling” it to an eager and unquestioning population. Back then, these trends were undeniably present and one could sense a none-too-subtle shift in the approach to news. Unfortunately, it looks like those trends are to stay, and I think that has aged Broadcast News considerably. It doesn’t feel like James L. Brooks’ telling media satire is attacking a coming change so much as it is making one last stand against it. It’s still a very clever, very powerful and very well put together piece of film, but it sadly feels like it’s fighting a battle lost long ago.

That, perhaps, makes Broadcast News the most depressing comedy I’ve seen in quite some time.

They let an Tom, Dick or Harry host the news…

Continue reading