Speaking truth to sleaze

It could be argued that the #MeToo movement had its genesis, or at the very least got a major boost, in the most unlikely of places when it comes to basic humanity: Fox News. It all started when Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson (a superb Nicole Kidman) decided she’d had enough sexual harassment from chief sleazebag and network head Roger Ailes (John Lithgow), and slapped him with a lawsuit.  

She was pretty much on her own until screen queen bee Megyn Kelly came forward with her own story of abuse at Ailes’s hands, and then campaigned for other women at the network to do the same. You’ve heard it said that such and such an actor “disappears into a role,” well, Charlize Theron takes that a step further, making you think they hired Kelly to play herself. It’s uncanny.

The “third blonde” role played by Margot Robbie (every bit as well) is a fictional composite of several other victims. Also Kate McKinnon in a rare dramatic role, and Allison Janney.

Note: the makeup crew, one of whom is Japanese, garnered the film’s only Oscar – big budget apparently for false eyelashes and lip-gloss – though they might have gone overboard with Geraldo and Giuliani. Too easy.

My only complaint is that this film by Jay Roach (Dinner for Schmucks, Trumbo) is briskly entertaining when it should have been a lot deeper and creepier. I wanted to be angrier.

(109 min)