20+ Bombshell Reviews – Charlize Theron Portrayal of Megyn Kelly Not Award-worthy


Charlize Theron was Megny Kelly in the trailers for this movie, I believed it was Kelly starring in the movie.

Until Theron started talking. At that point the illusion was shattered.

Physical transformations have long been considered a surefire path to an Oscar — just ask Rami Malek and his Freddie Mercury teeth, Gary Oldman’s Churchill fat suit, or co-star Nicole Kidman’s (who plays Gretchen Carlson in Bombshell) Virginia Woolf nose. Theron herself is no stranger to the theory; in 2004, she won her first and only Oscar for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, a role that required her to gain 30 lbs, shave her eyebrows, and wear prosthetic teeth. It makes sense, then, that her Kelly transformation is earning Theron awards season buzz. She’s been nominated for a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and is predicted to score an Oscar nod for Best Actress when the nominees are announced on January 13. 

Will Charlize Theron Win Best Actress For Bombshell?

Charlize Theron (as Megyn Kelly) vs. Renee Zellweger (Judy Garland), who was better?

Easy. Zellweger. She had the much harder performance. She didn’t just have a physical makeover complete with false teeth (your mouth is an important part of singing, because that’s where sound comes out – different teeth are an obstacle to overcome), she had to sing Judy freaking Garland songs. Live in front of the cast and crew in one continuous take. Without mistakes. Like that is some easy task — not.

Theron looks great as Kelly, but as I said in my review the Megyn Kelly voice cadence just isn’t there. Theron doesn’t have the right pauses and emphasis in inflection and intensity and again she only really looks like Megyn Kelly when she isn’t talking. That’s why the trailer with the elevator shot is so effective Theron’s imitation of Kelly isn’t speaking in that scene, she’s just standing there.

Academy awards shouldn’t go to statues, they need to go to actresses. Zellweger also had a weak script, but most reviewing the movie have praised Zellweger in spite of the source material. That says something. Sure, there have been critics of how much her singing sounded like Garland (it didn’t, really) but it was exceptional for someone who’s primary business is acting, not singing.

I’m not reading the same sort of praise for Theron. I wish Bombshell would have been more focused in its script, and actually I’d say Theron had better material to work with then Zellweger was given, the music aside.

Bottom line: I don’t see Theron winning any best actress awards for Bombshell, no more than Kathy Bates should be nominated for best supporting actress for Richard Jewell. Both performances were skilled, but not amazing.

Honestly, my vote for best actress from all the films I’ve seen in 2019 would either be Renee Zellweger (JUDY) or Scarlett Johannsen in Marriage Story. Still another week to go and some more movies with actresses, so have to wait and see how these movies fare. I don’t like how in late November, early December there are already a bunch of awards talk brewing and yet the year isn’t even over and moviegoers haven’t seen all the movies. So, feeling a bit premature typing this before 2020 rings in.

Reviews by Others

What do other moviegoers think of Bombshell?


  1. Big Apple Reviews: “The picture as whole, though, is directed in a pedestrian way by Jay Roach, whose “Trumbo” was a devastating look at screenwriter Dalton Trumbo who in 1947 was blacklisted for his leftist political beliefs.”
  2. Chocoviv: “Yay! It is definitely a movie that I recommend both young women and men to watch. Our young men need to learn that some jokes are not tolerated. Respect for others is important!”
  3. Cinema Notes (Grade: B-): “A Lifetime flick were it not for the quality of the performances, Bombshell does not understand nuance.”
  4. EYG / Embrace Your Geek (4/5): “While this story does not go as deep as it could have gone, Bombshell boasts some great performances and is worth the time to see.”
  5. Festival Reviews: (3.5/5) “…a no-nonsense drama.  It gets right to the crux the matter with little humour and with no side-stories.  The film therefore turns out an uncomfortable and occasionally   gut-wrenching watch”
  6. FlixChatter (3.5/5): “…this film clearly portrays the way women have to navigate predators with power. It does a really good job of highlighting the grey areas of this morally complex issue. A person can be a mentor, a father figure, someone you respect and still act problematically. Each person ends up negotiating their limits and ultimately trying to do the right thing.”
  7. For What It’s Worth: “…makes for a compelling fact-based narrative, but is it a bona fide testimonial or a skewed version of the truth?”
  8. Griff’s Picks: “…fairly rejuvenates a familiar plot with alvanizing energy, sizzling with the potential to become the first major movie response to sexual assault since #MeToo became a household term — celebrating the kind of determination necessary to actually take a stand (something, I could see some finding exploitive).”
  9. Jeff Huston (3/4): ” Ultimately, though, a certain cloud can’t help but hang over Bombshell, one that (in part) is no fault of it its own. Namely, that it is the second dramatization of Ailes’ downfall following the Showtime miniseries The Loudest Voice from this past summer.”
  10. let the movie move us (5/5): ” one of those films that must be seen more than a few times to grasp it completely. Whether it’s the lines, performances, or its concept, everything about it matches its title. It’s smart, elegant, important and must be seen by everyone whether you’re a Fox News supporter or not.”
  11. liamgaughan (Grade: B): “While it sometimes feels like a generalization of events and can lack the nuance when discussing the large scale impacts, there’s no bad intentions behind Bombshell, and I appreciate the perspective it provides.”
  12. Matther Epperly Film Reviews (Grade: A-): ” Few movies carry with it a lesson this relevant and important, and Bombshell does a terrific job carrying that weight.”
  13. Matthew Liedke on Film (3.5/5): “is a must see for the performances, the story and getting out to all the public exactly what brought the #METOO movement forward.”
  14. Roger In Orlando: “It’s that kind of movie — on-the-nose, preachy, and when it’s being funny, not that subtle.”
  15. Ry Guy’s Review: “Thankfully, Bombshell gives us a deeper look at power and politics without being hamfisted.”
  16. Screen Zealots / Louisa (3.5/5): “It’s an uncomfortable but empowering movie to watch, but nearly an entire two hours are spent preaching loudly to the liberal choir.”
  17. writergurlinny: “But, if this film has one flaw, it is that the slow burn is too slow. Anyone who watches the news knows how the movie ends. But it takes a little too much time for the filmmakers to get to that point.”

Not Recommended (or on the fence)

  1. A Constant Visual Feast: “So, let’s not waste time: Bombshell is a disaster. No, let’s start over: It’s a calamity. No, hang on: It’s an insult to the very events it chronicles. Nailed it.”
  2. Jack Blackwell (3/5): ” It’s a mixed bag of performances that suits what is very much a mixed bag of a film, derivative yet important, entertaining yet muddled. “
  3. Keith & The Movies (2/5): “So we end up with a frustrating movie that certainly sees itself as empowering while at the same time giving the real women who fought this fight the surface-level treatment. Would a female writer/director team have served this story better? Possibly. Maybe they would have spent more time digging into the real story and more importantly exploring the women who made the story so important and worth telling.”
  4. Michael Roffman: “…is at its best when it’s an amusing behind-the-scenes look at Fox News and how the entire operation is setup to enrage your parents. But the film’s at its worst when it’s trying to tell a story of empowering women via problematic real-life figures. The people who need to see it never will, and the people who will see it, will learn nothing new.”
  5. RockAtTheMovies (6.5/10): ” At times it felt like the film was more interested in showing the real life correspondents being portrayed briefly, rather than going in depth into characterization. Not a bad film but feel like it wanted to be more and I also wanted more from it.”
  6. Society Reviews (1/5): “…the people in charge of telling this story hate Fox News too much to put their own opinions aside and focus on the story at hand. “

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quote from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

5 thoughts on “20+ Bombshell Reviews – Charlize Theron Portrayal of Megyn Kelly Not Award-worthy

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