Review of Re­views Bomb­shell

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - CRITICS’ CHOICE - Va­ri­ety Ir­ish Times

sax­o­phone tra­di­tion, Buck­ley has worked with every­one from Fred­die Hub­bard and Elmer Bern­stein to Barry Manilow and Bob Dy­lan, and he was a long-stand­ing mem­ber of Van Mor­ri­son’s tour­ing band. The Dubliner’s own quin­tet is a pow­er­fully swing­ing group with pi­anist Myles Dren­nan, gui­tarist John Mo­ri­arty and the se­nior rhythm team of bassist Dave Red­mond and drum­mer Kevin Brady.

Thurs­day 23

Jaz­zgate: The Mu­sic Of Nina Si­mone

Black Gate, Gal­way

Nina Si­mone’s en­dur­ing main­stream pop­u­lar­ity has tended to ob­scure her im­por­tance as a jazz mu­si­cian and in­no­va­tor. One of the few singers of jazz’s classic era to com­pose her own ma­te­rial and to ac­com­pany her­self at the pi­ano, Si­mone was also an im­por­tant voice of the Amer­i­can Civil Rights move­ment and a pas­sion­ate fem­i­nist who fre­quently put pol­i­tics ahead of ca­reer ad­vance­ment. Gal­way gui­tarist Aen­gus Hack­ett’s pop­u­lar se­ries at the Black Gate, cel­e­brat­ing the most im­por­tant fig­ures in the his­tory of jazz, reprises his ex­am­i­na­tion of Si­mone’s much-loved cat­a­logue, first pre­sented last sum­mer, in the com­pany of Gal­way-based Ital­ian singer Bar­bara Vulso, bassist Dan Bod­well and drum­mer Barry Duffy.

Satur­day 25

Paul Dun­lea’s 4 Cor­ners Project Arthurs, Dublin; also Mon­day 27, Mag­gie’s Farm, Belfast; Tues­day 28, Crane Lane, Cork

In the last year, Cork trom­bon­ist Paul Dun­lea has toured with Michael Bublé, cu­rated a jazz se­ries at the Cork Opera House and mu­si­cally di­rected the pop­u­lar Tues­day night ses­sions at Crane Lane, but even by the trom­bon­ist’s breath­less stan­dards, this lat­est project is a ma­jor un­der­tak­ing. 4 Cor­ners is a suite of orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions ref­er­enc­ing the War of In­de­pen­dence, us­ing mu­si­cians drawn from across Bri­tain and Ireland, in­clud­ing London-based bassist Michael Janisch, Scot­tish pi­anist Steve Hamil­ton, Birm­ing­ham-based drum­mer Andrew Bain, and Dun­lea him­self from the peo­ple’s repub­lic of Mun­ster. The heavy­weight quar­tet ar­rives on these shores fol­low­ing dates in London, Glas­gow, Ed­in­burgh and Brighton, so ex­pect a well-honed group sound from four ex­pe­ri­enced im­pro­vis­ers.

Sun­day 26

Dublin Jazz Co-Op: Izumi Kimura & Cora Venus Lunny

Work­man’s Club, Dublin

The more ab­stract end of the im­prov spec­trum has al­ways strug­gled for pur­chase in Ir­ish ears, and mu­si­cians with the nec­es­sary com­bi­na­tion of tech­ni­cal skill and melodic in­tre­pid­ity are rare, so this chance to hear pi­anist Izumi Kimura and vi­o­lin­ist Cora Venus Lunny reprise their duo col­lab­o­ra­tion in the in­ti­mate up­stairs Vin­tage Room at the Work­man’s Club should not be missed by the open of mind and ear. The ta­lented pair have been work

The of­fice back­bit­ing, the wa­ter­cooler am­bi­tion and treach­ery, the abu­sive se­crets hov­er­ing in the air like smoke from burnt rub­ber – all of that gives Bomb­shell the ex­cite­ment of gos­sip in­fused with psy­chodrama. It’s sus­pense­ful, and deeply sat­is­fy­ing, to see Ailes’s web of power un­ravel, as Lith­gow’s per­for­mance be­comes a tightrope dance of rage and fear. This, more than a year be­fore the fall of Har­vey We­in­stein, was the real start of the reck­on­ing, from deep within the right-wing heart of dark­ness. But Bomb­shell also shows us the cost that this fight ex­tracted. Theron, Kid­man, and Rob­bie, each play­ing a char­ac­ter who feels hideously com­pro­mised by the ha­rass­ment that en­chained her, cre­ate a lib­er­at­ing tri­umvi­rate of courage un­der fire. To­gether, they drop a very big bomb, and the world is still reel­ing from the fall­out. ing to­gether on and off since 2017, and most re­cently col­lab­o­rated as part of Kimura’s well-re­ceived com­poser-in-res­i­dence se­ries at the DLR Lex­i­con in Dún Laoghaire. With an al­bum now sched­uled for the sum­mer, what be­gan as a spon­ta­neous en­counter is ma­tur­ing into an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the cause of Ir­ish mu­si­cal free­dom

A scene to­wards the close that sees a younger Mur­doch set­ting up lit­eral domi­noes de­serves amused for­give­ness from the Metaphor Po­lice. The queasi­ness in the de­pic­tion of sex­ual mis­con­duct is less easy to ex­cuse. When Ailes in­spects Kayla like a po­ten­tial slave owner, we are prop­erly made aware that such abuse is as much to do with power and hu­mil­i­a­tion as with sex­ual de­sire. But the po­si­tion­ing of the cam­era as Rob­bie raises her skirt is more ac­com­mo­dat­ing to the male gaze than the con­text al­lows.

No­body could ar­gue that quar­ter is given to Ailes. Stuffed up to the size of two hip­popota­muses , John Lith­gow plays him as vul­gar, ra­pa­cious and un­yield­ing. Yet his very mon­stros­ity dead­ens some of the po­ten­tial im­pact. Bomb­shell is en­ter­tain­ing through­out, but it of­fers lit­tle nu­ance than a morn­ing spent with Fox & Friends.

Bomb­shell is crisp, lu­cid and pacey, not just when it’s re­vis­it­ing Kelly’s show­down with Trump and Carl­son’s sex­ual ha­rass­ment suit against Ailes, but when it’s de­scrib­ing the Fox News for­mula to cap­ti­vate older view­ers: “frigh­t­en­ti­t­il­late.” A scene in the women’s dress­ing room – where a bevy of mostly blonde news­cast­ers choose among a reg­i­mented ar­ray of form-fit­ting sheath dresses and spike-heeled shoes – plays less like some­thing out of Broad­cast News than The Step­ford Wives.

As ac­com­plished as its three leads are, the film­mak­ers’ satir­i­cal dis­dain for Fox News and its po­lit­i­cal agenda oc­ca­sion­ally feels catty rather than in­ci­sive. As wor­thy as Kelly and Carl­son’s sto­ries are, there’s a film still to be made about how the net­work’s strat­egy fo­mented poi­sonous par­ti­san ran­cour that has only grown more toxic in the past 20 years. a song recital by mezzo-so­prano Sharon Carty and pi­anist Úna Hunt. Their fo­cus is on works by Pauline Viar­dot, Au­gusta Holmès, Cé­cile Cham­i­nade, Mélanie Bo­nis, Hope Tem­ple and Ger­maine Taille­ferre who is best-known as the only woman com­poser of the group of French com­posers la­belled Les Six af­ter an ar­ti­cle by critic Henri Col­let in 1920.

Beethoven 250 with Finghin Collins

Na­tional Con­cert Hall, Dublin

It’s 250 years since Beethoven was born, and the year’s first ma­jor cel­e­bra­tion at the NCH comes from the RTÉ Con­cert Orches­tra. The pro­gramme is as pure as you could wish – the first three pi­ano con­cer­tos, per­formed in the or­der they were writ­ten (Nos 2, 1, 3) and

di­rected from the key­board by Finghin Collins. Barry Douglas’s Camerata Ireland and the RTÉ Sym­phony Orches­tra un­der Leonard Slatkin will be in on the act be­fore the month is out, on Wed­nes­day 29th and Friday 31st, re­spec­tively.

Friday 24th - Sun­day, 26

Cham­ber Choir Ireland

Dublin, Car­ling­ford

Cham­ber Choir Ireland starts the year with a mid­day in­stal­ment of its Choral Sketches com­poser-men­tor­ing pro­gramme in the Na­tional Con­cert Hall’s Kevin Barry Recital Room. The choir’s con­duc­tor and artis­tic di­rec­tor, Paul Hil­lier, is in charge of the first pub­lic per­for­mances of Sinéad Fine­gan’s An­thropo Scenic, Anselm McDon­nell’s Tear­ing as it is Wo­ven and Eoin Mul­vaney’s Cer­nun­nos, works which were de­vel­oped un­der the guid­ance of com­poser Tarik O’Re­gan. On Satur­day evening (in the Car­ling­ford Her­itage Cen­tre in Co Louth) and Sun­day af­ter­noon (at St Ann’s Church, Daw­son Street, Dublin) Hil­lier con­ducts works by Arvo Pärt (Morn­ing Star, The Deer’s Cry, and Dopo la vit­to­ria), David Lang (ex­cerpts from love fail, his “med­i­ta­tion on the time­less­ness of love”) and Louis An­driessen’s multi-lay­ered Flora Tris­tan.


Charlize Theron and Liv Hew­son in Bomb­shell.

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