Cert 15 Stars 5
This shocking, compelling and explosive real life drama explores the real life serial sexual abuse at the top of a TV network and the drama is powered by several brilliant and award worthy performances.
Oscar nominated Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie are joined by Nicole Kidman to complete an outstanding trio of talent, playing the sharp, smart, professional and highly polished news presenters, seeking to bring down the predatory boss of the Fox News TV network, Roger Ailes.
John Lithgow makes the most powerful man in American TV a horribly grasping and paranoid figure, who’s created an atmosphere of fear in order to maintain his monstrous regime of systematic sexual abuse.
Fox News and Ailes himself lack the cultural resonance in the UK they have across the pond, but imagine if Holly Willougby, Alex Jones and Steph McGovern announced they and a dozen more presenters had been abused by the Director General of the BBC, and you’d have some idea of the high profile shockwaves the case caused.
Robbie plays a fictional ambitious new employee called Kayla who’s model looks and sweet nature puts her immediately on Ailes’ radar.
However it’s Theron who dominates the film as Megyn Kelly, Fox’s most high profile journalist, a spiky and demanding presence who describes herself as a lawyer not a feminist, and is more keen on high ratings than popularity with her colleagues.
Kidman has the least flashy but vital role as Gretchen Carlson, who sues Ailes after being demoted then fired after refusing Ailes sexual advances, which leads to his behaviour being made public for the first time.
Sadly the three actresses only appear altogether in the one brief scene, so we’re denied the fun of seeing three great acts sparking off each other.
The sheer volume of testimony is extraordinary and the scale of abuse is staggering, especially as we’re left with a postscript which is perhaps the most devastating revelation of all.