Gig Review: The 1975 at the SSE Hydro

The 1975 returned to Glasgow on Sunday for the third time in 14 months, this time in support of their upcoming album, ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’.

I saw the band back in January 2019 at the SSE Hydro – and it was truly a magical experience, so it was only right to go back this year to see them at the same venue. This band is typically for everyone; they don’t really fit into a particular genre, so have a varied fanbase.

So, on Sunday, I decided to take my boyfriend along to experience the gig. We don’t really share the same taste in music, but The 1975 are common ground.

What I noticed as soon as we entered was that the whole top tier of seats was curtained off, despite being filled for last year’s show. This may indicate a decline in support of their new music, which is certainly not as popular as their first two albums, however the arena’s emptiness still struck me.

The band bounded onto the stage, and frontman Matty Healy was on top form as always.

They came out with the roaring anthem People, much more punk-rock in style and a very loud way to kick off their show. The crowd seemed to love it, and it really got the energy in the building going.

A couple of unreleased new songs were given airtime, resulting in a rather mellow crowd reaction. If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) was reminiscent of their older music and the crowd seemed to vibe with it too. It also features a catchy chorus that the crowd picked up on very easily. Everyone was singing along by the end.

The band went on to perform Guys, and this was a number that Matty clearly wrote to the rest of the band as a thanks for all that they’ve been through together. However, what struck me was that he seemed to be singing about the band in the past tense, reflecting on their experiences together. The song itself was slow but certainly catchy, and it captured my attention throughout. I didn’t see or hear the rest of the crowd, I was solely focused on the lyrics.

We had an interlude from Greta Thunberg, which has become a regular occurrence, and Matty made it clear that he wanted people to listen. A couple of people in the crowd held up their fingers in peace signs while her speech was on, and others were crying along. It was clear just how much of an impact this collaboration had on not only the band but also their fans. It was incredibly humbling to see that many people listening to such an important message and being moved to tears from it.

The setlist for this tour seems to change almost every night, and overall, it wasn’t best I’ve seen. They did have the typical upbeat songs mixed with some of their slower numbers and performed songs from all four of their albums including their upcoming release.

The crowd didn’t seem to be in love with it either and weren’t as energetic as I thought they would. In fact, it wasn’t until the set’s closing song, The Sound, that they really let loose. The band’s older music definitely got a better reception than the songs from their latest album.

I think it’s very important to mention the stage setup and look of the gig. While most bands and artists have lights coming from various points in the venue, the 1975 opt to have all their lighting come from onstage screens. This doesn’t mean that the room was dull, though! The lights were so bright when I first walked into the arena it was akin to looking at the sun. This is to hide the stage setup, but they were really quite intense.

It didn’t stop there. Throughout the entire gig, the visuals were incredible. Each song was met with an aesthetic that corresponded to its album which I’ve never seen out with a 1975 gig. They may not be the only ones to do this, but it was a great touch nonetheless.

I thoroughly encourage anyone to see them live if they haven’t already. Although the setlist for my specific date wasn’t the best I’ve seen, I loved the gig regardless. Their performances are pleasing to the eye and let’s face it, the music isn’t bad either.

Gig Review: The Gil Scott Heron’s Songbook at the Edinburgh Jazz Weekend

Equal parts exhilarating and mesmerising, Sunday night at the St Brides Centre proved to be a fitting tribute to a great American jazz poet as well as a tremendous conclusion to a great weekend of Jazz.

Starring acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Aki Remally and piano maestro Fraser Urquhart, the duo paid tribute to Gil Scott Heron in the only way they know how: with a truly fantastical display of jazz pulling from the famed musician’s catalogue of music.

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Remally is a tour de force both vocally and instrumentally. His skill is apparent when he can produce a smooth, silky ballad and switch at the drop of a hat to vocals filled with energy and passion. This vocal talent is only enhanced by his ability with a guitar, providing a harmonising medley of sound.

Urquhart also showcases his sheer skill as a musician throughout, either being a complementary and harmonious element or a dominant force, depending on what is required. A particular highlight of his talent was a fantastic drum solo near the end of the set; his aggressive yet elegant movements producing a performance equal parts mesmerising and intense.

Together, the two musicians complement each other perfectly, forming a must-see act worthy of both the songbook they paid tribute to as well as Scottish jazz fans’ attention.

Gig Review: Lennon Stella at the SWG3

Lennon Stella performing at SWG3 in Glasgow Credit: Erin Kirsop

Lennon Stella made her first appearance on Scottish soil at the intimate SWG3 in Glasgow, performing in her first solo European tour.

Lennon has come a long way since her days as a teenager on the American TV show Nashville. Against all odds, Lennon has chosen to step away from her country music roots, instead dipping into the indie-pop genre.

Performing songs off her debut album, as well as new songs yet to be released, the show was a fantastic mix of music. Despite being her first appearance in Glasgow, the fans were with her all the way, singing along with every lyric.

Her support act, JP Saxe, was also widely popular with the crowd both during his opening gig and when he joined Lennon on stage to sing their co-written song ‘Golf on TV’.

In just under two hours, Lennon played covers, as well as throwing original tracks throughout her discography into the mix, each proving to be an absolute delight.

With more songs in the making, I and the rest of her fans sit tightly for another tour announcement. Until next time, Lennon.

Film Review: ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ ★★★★

Direction: Marielle Heller
Screenplay: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster
Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Christine Lahti
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: PG

Enchanting and surprising.  A golden adventure.

Using the 1998 Esquire article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod as inspiration, this film follows witty yet cynical journalist Lloyd Vogel (Rhys), as he is tasked with writing a profile on television personality Fred Rogers (Hanks) and how this friendship will change the course of his life. For those unaware, Rogers was an American national treasure who presented the widely adored children’s series ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ for over thirty years. Overjoyed reactions from Oprah Winfrey and Arsenio Hall to his mere presence says it all.

Much like the medium of television, Rogers’ life and work is an interesting conundrum of both authenticity and artificiality. While the miniature town and city sets and puppets on the programme are toys by design, the host and the home from which he presents are life-size, also by choice.

For a person of such purity, Rogers is not a character as Vogel presumes but also not a saint as Rogers’ wife points out. He has, and wants, to work at it. Rogers is a just a man who believes in recapturing the imagination of childhood in adulthood and delivering that message to each demographic on-screen and off. Vogel finds this genuineness difficult to believe, setting the stage for a meeting of opposing minds but eventually kindred spirits. This is the story of how that happens.

For his supporting performance as Fred Rogers, Tom Hanks received Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations | © 2019 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Tencent Pictures (USA) LLC. All Rights Reserved

Originally filmed with live musicians at WQED Studios in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ has been wonderfully reenacted in standard definition picture format and aspect ratio to contrast the real world going on away from the camera lens. Much like the format of Rogers’ show, the film unfolds as a children’s story covering challenging adult themes, introduced and concluded by Hanks’ Rogers.

A film of this sweetness and delicacy necessitates that we suspend our disbelief and befriend our imagination once more. My advice is to watch with the soft embrace of Rogers and not the hard scepticism of Vogel, despite those qualities required of their respective work. Resistance is futile.

As it turns out, adults need Rogers as much as children do. As adults, we are trained to resist childish play, but playing brings us closer to our humanity. Playing as children was often the time when we were happiest and holding on to that ability to play may help us find fulfilment as adults. Rogers reminds us of this.

On the set of ‘Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood’ Matthew Rhys plays Lloyd Vogel, based on journalist Tom Junod who wrote Can You Say…”Hero?” after meeting Fred Rogers | © 2019 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Tencent Pictures (USA) LLC. All Rights Reserved

Similar to the end credits of ‘Saving Mr Banks’, where Hanks embodies Walt Disney, another American icon beloved by children, we are granted access to the original recordings of Rogers at work in archive footage of an episode of the children’s television programme. A nice touch. While Hanks played the supporting role in both films and shamefully wasn’t nominated for any major awards for ‘Saving Mr Banks’, after almost two decades he has received his sixth Oscar nomination for ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’. Another nice touch.

Both films dramatise the interactions between lesser-known writers and high-profile figures with the life of the former very much in the spotlight. With the scandalous exemption of an Oscar nomination, Emma Thompson’s dominating performance as Mary Poppins‘ author P. L. Travers in ‘Saving Mr Banks’ was the focus of most awards season attention however, this time, Matthew Rhys’ subtle turn as Esquire magazine journalist in ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ has been largely overlooked. An overly crowded leading category race, perhaps? Who can say for sure?

At one moment, Hanks’ Rogers breaks the fourth wall. Not with a weapon of course, but by staring down the camera lens at the film’s audience just as he does to the audience of children on his television programme. At the end of one episode, he says: “I like you just the way you are.” We need to say these words out loud to ourselves more often than we do. Or at least have somebody like Rogers who can do it for us. Of that I can say for sure.

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is in cinemas now.
★★★★

Film Review: ‘The Lighthouse’ ★★★

Direction: Robert Eggers
Screenplay: Robert Eggers, Max Eggers
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: 15

Powerful suspense, hauntingly surreal.

Loosely inspired by an unfinished story from the father of horror himself – Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse is a truly chilling journey that descends into madness.

Shot on black and white 35-millimeter film, The Lighthouse is something of a throwback to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, George A. Romero and other pioneers of horror-cinema.

The Lighthouse finds our leading men on an isolated island somewhere off the coast of New England, during the late 19th century. Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) takes a job as a ‘wickie’ (lighthouse-keeper) where he must serve a 4-week contract under the supervision of an elderly and poorly-tempered ex-seaman (Willem Dafoe).

What follows is a series of events that leaves both men questioning reality, their sanity and their relationship with each other.

The Lighthouse is, for the most part, very impressive. The isolated setting allows for a build-up of tension that will leave you squirming in your seat. This is complemented perfectly by the gloomy, black and white visual style.

The only issue with the film was the ending, which was left far too ambiguous. Audiences often appreciate filmmakers who can leave a little up to interpretation, but The Lighthouse relied too heavily on the watcher. Resulting in the ending being rather confusing and admittedly, a little disappointing.

The Lighthouse is in cinemas now.

★★★

SIX: “An unstoppable goldmine of talent”

SIX by Marlow and Moss, , Writer – Toby Marlow, Writer and Co-Director – Lucy Moss, Co-director – Jamie Armitage, Choreographer – Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Sets – Emma Bailey, Costume Designer – Gabriella Slade, Malvern Theatres, 2019, Credit: Johan Persson

If the ex-wives of Henry VIII were to form a girl band, they’d be SIX – an unstoppable goldmine of talent.

The musical returned to Edinburgh, where it made its debut at the Fringe Festival in 2017.

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, the show’s writers, add to the history lessons we got in school by going into details of the wives by making them the focal point of the story rather than “just one word in a stupid rhyme”.

Taking song styling inspiration from Beyonce and Adele, SIX focuses on if the wives formed a girl group.

The musical explores the stories of how the wives ended up with Henry VIII, and how they ended up divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.

The Spice Girls’ infamous girl power feminist angle plays a strong part in the concert-style musical, as there is a heavy focus that there is more to their story than being a wife to the king.

Catchy pop hits make you want to dance along, which contributes to the atmosphere that you would find at a concert. This is thanks to the backing band The Ladies in Waiting, who are on stage with the queens.

It turns the pop musical into a full-on concert spectacle, complete with elaborate dance routines.

The standout performance of Anne Boleyn (Madison Bulleyment) brings the fun-loving and sarcastic performance of ‘Don’t Lose Ur Head’. Adding to this, the sassy one-liners about losing her head throughout the performance certainly make for the show’s biggest laughs.

With a running time of 70 minutes, shorter than most musicals, it makes for a more consumable show for everyone.

Film Review: ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ ★★★★

Direction: Armando Iannucci
Screenplay: Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell
Cast: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi,
Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper
Length: 119 minutes
Rating: PG

An unexpectedly escapist delight of independent cinema from the master of satire.

In a similar fashion to ‘In the Loop’ and ‘The Death of Stalin’, writer/director Armando Iannucci envelops this comedy-drama with his usual flair for surreal humour. While those previous projects focused on the power games played by political manipulators in gloriously absurdist style, they are much colder in comparison to his new release. And so they should be, if they weren’t then the chaos wouldn’t be as hysterical. Although all are undeniably beautifully crafted works, this film is set apart by its surprisingly romantic tone. After all, this is ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ from childhood to adulthood. A rather more emotional story of both struggle and success that is ultimately uplifting, as well as being hilariously bizarre.

A tale of two halves, each stage in the life of David Copperfield (Patel) is coloured in light and dark. From his idyllic childhood in the country filled with imagination to the poverty and humiliation of the factory in the city. From the eccentricity of his relatives Mr. Dick (Laurie) and Betsy Trotwood (Swinton), both of whom give brilliant performances, back in the country to the return to hardship after their bankruptcy back in the city. From falling in love and losing a friend to regaining financial control and being fulfilled by writing and companionship, this Copperfield story is injected with an eclectic cast of great British talent. Laurie, Swinton, Capaldi and Wishaw are able to take flight from the platform of smart writing; uproarious and melancholy.

‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ Poster | © Lions Gate International (UK) Limited.

Nominated for an impressive 11 British Independent Film Awards, ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ won five including Best Screenplay for Iannucci and Blackwell, Best Supporting Actor for Laurie and Best Casting for Sarah Crowe. She is also nominated for a BAFTA in the same category, created this year, disappointingly the film’s only nomination there. Even recognition in the Best British Film category, where commercially modest but nevertheless critically acclaimed independent films overlooked elsewhere at major awards ceremonies usually do well, was also denied. It deserved better.

My only criticism, admittedly trivial in relation to the overall excellence, is that by condensing a large part of a life into two hours, a lot of breathing space for greater analysis is unavailable. With multiple characters and myriad locations to fit in, the fast pace of the film could have benefited from moments to pause. Conversely, no scenes or situations ever feel rushed while each of the major supporting players appear throughout with new material to develop their characters. But maybe that was the point; the high speed of unfolding events also keeps the film fresh and maintains our engagement in an age of ever reducing attention spans. And with that, I’ve solved nothing.

Actor Dev Patel in character as David Copperfield in ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ | © Channel Four Television Corporation 2020

Many people have asked the question: ‘What would you say to your younger self?’ As the very last words of the film, Copperfield says to his younger self, “Don’t worry. We’ll make it through and we’ll have quite the ride on the way”. Symbolic of the film’s warm nature from the beginning, we now have the answer in the most hopeful of endings. Refreshingly heartfelt and beautifully made, Iannucci has delivered an entertaining comedy and impactful drama that warranted more attention this awards season. Especially at the BAFTAs.

‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is in cinemas now.
★★★★

The British Academy Film Awards’ will be broadcast at 21:00 on Sunday 2 February 2020 on BBC One and HD. The BBC News Channel and HD will broadcast ‘Baftas 2020: Red Carpet Show’ at 17:15 and ‘Baftas 2020: Results Show’ at 21:30 on Sunday 2 February and ‘Baftas 2020: Extra Time’ at 00:30 on Monday 3 February 2020.

Gig Review: Bombay Bicycle Club

On return from their hiatus, Bombay Bicycle Club delivered not only a dynamic live performance but a pulsing atmosphere to Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on Wednesday night as they journeyed through their dynamic repertoire.

Raucous multi-instrumentalism injected additional vibrancy upon the band’s performance, driving into the event’s carnival-like atmosphere and pulsing energy from both band and audience. Tracks from So Long See You Tomorrow, were proven as some of the band’s most dynamic live songs, as Overdone and Feel provoking an electric reaction.

 

 

The band continue to include tracks from their debut album, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. The crowd certainly retained the feedback that tracks Cancel on Me, Magnet, and Evening/Morning remain firm fan favourites. Although brilliant in itself, without the additional percussion or vocal, the four-piece indie outfit still achieve an electric performance.

New tracks, including I Worry Bout You and I Can Barely Speak, did markedly receive less of a reaction from the crowd. However, despite the tough reviews of their latest album, fans in the audience were still able to recite the lyrics.

The band also made a visit to A Different Kind Of Fix, providing quieter, more thoughtful moments in the set, defining the moment the band moved to a multi-instrumental approach, which provided more proof of how many iconic songs the band hold in their arsenal such as How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep and Shuffle.

Front-man Jack Steadman lamented during the encore that despite the fact, like their single says, “everything else has gone wrong”, members of the audience could momentarily escape from life’s issues, just like the single entails. As the band finished with both old and new, finishing with Always Like This, the opportunity was gladly handed to many.

http://https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4yW5Hu16nqddfPfTDnbeJR?si=wOJdFrPdTdebn_zSdM5tEA

Album Review: ‘Funeral’ by Lil Wayne

Returning to the limelight with his highly anticipated project ‘Funeral’, Lil Wayne may have secured another winner with his 13th studio album.

The New Orleans native first teased the album in 2016, before ceasing to reference it again until late 2019, when a coffin emoji appeared on his Instagram story. Now, just a week after its official announcement, ‘Funeral’ has landed.

The much anticipated ‘Funeral’ by Lil Wayne is out now. (Cover Art: Young Money Entertainment)

The album has been described by Wayne as a much different and more contemporary sound than its predecessor – 2018’s ‘Tha Carter V’.

The title track, backed by a symphony of string instruments that trips into a soft bass and snare, is a raw, emotionally-fuelled opening to the album. ‘Mahogany’ follows, which is a quick switch in tempo. Throughout a breathless delivery, Wayne is flawless over the trippy, hazed-out vocals that make up the instrumental.

Mixing sounds and moving with the times has never been an issue for Wayne. At least one successful album released in one of the last four decades proves the evergreen qualities that Wayne sports as an artist.

The third and fourth track are representative of this. Whilst ‘Mama Mia’ contains lyrics and a dark, metallic backing track that wouldn’t sound out of place in a SoundCloud rapper’s discography. ‘I Do It’ reminds one of a Gunna or Young Thug track. Containing the first features of the album, ‘I Do It’ features veteran Big Sean, who croons through the choruses, and Lil Baby, who provides a short, but sweet verse.

What follows are three tracks in succession, which differ tremendously in style, and flex Wayne’s various artistic capabilities. ‘Dreams’ is loud, aggressive and almost unhappy, whilst ‘Stop Playing With Me’ is a confident, fast-paced assurance of Wayne’s position in the hip-hop community, and his coolness on the mic. ‘Clap For Em’ contains another bass-heavy instrumental that feels very Latin-inspired with a sound that you’d expect to hear in a nightclub.

Jay Rock makes an appearance on ‘Bing James’, a track that for the most part, reminds one of something that Chief Keef or Lil Gnar may produce, in its autotuned, aggressive tones.

If ‘Bing James’ is the high, ‘Not Me’ is the comedown that follows, as it layers the listener’s ears with a sad, melancholic sound.

Adam Levine appears on ‘Trust Nobody’ – not a name you’d associate with Lil Wayne. As predicted, this track is a lot calmer, and more family-friendly, even containing a couple verses from bedtime prayer ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’.

The next four tracks are fairly strong, but not the most memorable from the album. 2 Chainz and Takeoff appear across two songs, but honestly, don’t really provide anything other than what you’d expect from them. ‘I Don’t Sleep’ is probably the better of the four, with a light-hearted instrumental, and a bouncy, fun delivery from Wayne.

Three features appear on the following four tracks – The-Dream, Lil Twist and the late XXXTENTACION. ‘Sights and Silencers’ is admittedly nothing spectacular, and whilst Lil Twist is a welcome introduction in ‘Ball Hard’, it’s ‘Get Outta My Head’ which piques interest. Lil Wayne compliments XXXTENTACION well on the track, which is actually a rework of ‘The Boy With The Black Eyes’ – a track that the latter originally recorded in 2016.

‘Piano Trap’ is a triumphant-sounding celebration of Wayne’s success, whilst ‘Line Em Up’ reintroduces the snares and rapid backing track we had a glimpse of earlier in the album. ‘Darkside’ is unfortunately fairly forgettable, but ‘Never Mind’, whilst not Wayne’s best track by any means, sticks to the new sound that he was trying to go for, and feels like it has a lot of replay value.

O.T. Genasis appears on the penultimate track ‘T.O.’, which is a wild journey from start to finish. An instrumental that feels wacky and all-over-the-place works its way behind a delivery from Wayne and O.T. that deals mostly in the ‘triplet flow’ that Migos popularised.

The final track on this album, ‘Wayne’s World’, is a good finish to an album that starts sombre and gradually works its way up. ‘Funeral’ was Wayne at the morgue, but ‘Wayne’s World’ is him sealing his resurrection and celebrating his return.

All in all, ‘Funeral’ is a strong album. Whilst it’s not Wayne’s best work to date, it certainly lives up to his promise of a more contemporary sound. Although he’s been on the scene since 1999, Wayne has been one of the quickest of the ‘old guard’ to adopt and work with this new sound that has developed in the 2010s.

The album is sombre and woeful at points, angry and in-your-face at others, and proud and dominant at others. Admittedly, there are tracks you may completely forget about post-album, but all things in consideration, Wayne has kicked off this new decade in an undoubtedly positive fashion.

4/5 STARS

Film Review: ‘Bombshell’ ★★★★

Direction: Jay Roach
Screenplay: Charles Randolph
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow,
Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell, Allison Janney
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: 15

A stylishly executed drama that captures the cultural zeitgeist.

Set in 2016, Megan Kelly (Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Kidman) and Kayla Pospisil (Robbie) have been sexually harassed by predatory Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes (Lithgow) but are at different stages of their lives and careers. News anchor Carlson is fired after angering the network and its audience before preparing to sue Ailes, Kelly is the current star news anchor questioning whether to come forward against Ailes, and Posposil is a new arrival at what she thought would be her dream job.

In ‘Bombshell’, we have a backstage pass to watch the high pressure and competition of 24-hour cable news where the camera is always on the move; panning, zooming and refocusing, reflecting the fast pace and constant rate of change. Transformed by subtle prosthetics and vocal register, Theron is particularly impressive as Kelly, delivering dialogue in voiceover and breaking the fourth wall (as do Kidman and Robbie) to provide us with context on Fox News and her place within it as she strides through the newsroom sets.

Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie in character as Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson and Kayla Pospisil, respectively | © 2019 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.

Director Jay Roach, who also helmed the HBO political drama films ‘Recount’, ‘Game Change’ and ‘All The Way’, brings much of the same class and flair for behind the scenes storytelling to this biographical drama as he brought to ‘Trumbo’, his previous cinema release. Also in voiceover is the shocking testimony from other survivors of sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes, an unexpected and commanding move.

Both ‘Bombshell’ and the Showtime limited series ‘The Loudest Voice’, which depicts the rise and fall of Roger Ailes over twenty years as he builds Fox News into the media powerhouse that exists today, have received significant awards season attention. While Theron and Robbie have collected Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for their leading and supporting performances in the film, respectively, Kidman and Lithgow were overlooked for their supporting turns. In contrast, Russell Crowe won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ailes while the limited series was also nominated.

John Lithgow in character as Roger Ailes | © 2019 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc.

While ‘Bombshell’ focuses more on Kelly and ‘The Loudest Voice’ on Ailes, both projects recognise the pivotal role of Carlson in the downfall of Ailes. By stepping into the firing line, literally and metaphorically, to expose the sexual harassment by Ailes, other women were encouraged to come forward. But this decision was a huge risk considering the media machine and toxic culture that opposed them. It would leave their lives, career and relationships vulnerable to attack. After surviving assault in private, they would need to withstand further onslaught in public with no guarantee of effecting significant change.

Since 2016, there has been a monumental cultural shift in action for survivors and reactions against perpetrators of sexual harassment, with particular reference to individuals and industries in the public eye. But how much of the system has changed when the settlements for accusers are much lower than abusers, as highlighted at the end of the film?

‘Bombshell’ broadcasts this heart-breaking news from the women’s point of view.

‘Bombshell’ is in cinemas now.
★★★★

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