Television release poster
|Written by||Susannah Grant|
|Directed by||Rick Famuyiwa|
|Theme music composer||Harry Gregson-Williams|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||Darren M. Demetre|
|Running time||110 minutes|
Confirmation is a 2016 American television political thriller film, directed by Rick Famuyiwa and written by Susannah Grant. It is about Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearings, and the controversy that unfolded when Anita Hill alleged she was sexually harassed by Thomas. It stars Kerry Washington as Hill and Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas, as well as Erika Christensen, Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Irwin, and Eric Stonestreet in supporting roles. The film aired on HBO on April 16, 2016.
Anita Hill, now a law professor at Oklahoma University is contacted and questioned about Clarence Thomas. Hill, the former employee of Clarence Thomas is prompted to speak about Thomas' treatment of her in the workplace. Her allegation of sexual harassment is leaked, and a media frenzy ensues. A hearing takes place in which Anita tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that, inter alia, Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her 10 years prior. From there, a slew of events unfold as the Committee, with the world watching, tries to figure out who is telling the truth.
- Kerry Washington as Anita Hill
- Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas
- Alison Wright as Virginia Thomas
- Zoe Lister-Jones as Carolyn Hart (based on Harriet Grant), aide to Senator Biden
- Erika Christensen as Shirley Wiegand, friend of Anita Hill* Jennifer Hudson as Angela Wright
- Greg Kinnear as Joe Biden, U.S. Senator (D-DE)
- Jeffrey Wright as Charles Ogletree
- Bill Irwin as John Danforth, U.S. Senator (R-MO)
- Eric Stonestreet as Kenneth Duberstein, former White House Chief of Staff
- Treat Williams as Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator (D-MA)
- Grace Gummer as Ricki Seidman, aide to Senator Kennedy
- Dylan Baker as Orrin Hatch, U.S. Senator (R-UT)
- Peter McRobbie as Alan K. Simpson, U.S. Senator (R-WY)
- Tom Virtue as Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator (D-VT)
- Daniel Sauli as Mark Paoletta
- Kimberly Elise as Sonia Jarvis
- Kristen Ariza as Judy Smith, Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary
- Malcolm Gets as Arlen Specter, U.S. Senator (R-PA)
- Frank Hoyt Taylor as Strom Thurmond, U.S. Senator (R-SC)
On March 12, 2015, it was announced that Kerry Washington would star as Anita Hill in an HBO television film. Kerry Washington's role on ABC Network's hit television show, Scandal, is loosely based on Judy Smith's real life character. On April 28, Wendell Pierce was cast as Clarence Thomas. On May 12, Eric Stonestreet joined as Kenneth Duberstein. Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Hudson, and Jeffrey Wright were reported to have joined the cast as Joe Biden, Angela Wright, and Charles Ogletree on May 29. On June 5, Bill Irwin and Treat Williams joined to portray John Danforth and Ted Kennedy. Later that same day, Erika Christensen, Cobie Smulders, Dylan Baker, and Grace Gummer were cast as Shirley Wiegand, Harriet Grant, Orrin Hatch, and Ricki Seidman, respectively. On June 16, Kimberly Elise, Kristen Ariza, and Malcolm Gets joined the cast as Sonia Jarvis, Judy Smith, and Arlen Specter, respectively. On July 2, Daniel Sauli was cast as Mark Paoletta. On July 9, it was reported that Smulders had exited the film due to her breaking her leg; Zoe Lister-Jones was then confirmed to replace her in the role of Harriet Grant.
Confirmation received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised Washington's performance as Hill and the film's depiction of its subject matter. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 79%, based on 39 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Stellar performances and gripping subject matter help Confirmation overcome production values that occasionally feel as dated as the infamous real-life case it covers." On Metacritic the film has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Awards and nominations
|2016||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Television Movie||Confirmation||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie||Kerry Washington||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Movie/Limited Series||Confirmation||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series||Kerry Washington||Nominated|
|2017||Satellite Award||Best Miniseries or Television Film||Confirmation||Nominated|
|Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film||Wendell Pierce||Nominated|
|Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Kerry Washington||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Award||Long Form – Original||Susannah Grant||Won|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Kerry Washington||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Award||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series||Kerry Washington||Nominated|
During the film credits the onscreen text claims that because of Hill's accusation of sexual harassment, more women were elected to public office in 1992 than previous periods, official sexual harassment complaints doubled, and an important workplace discrimination law was passed (referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1991).
- Petski, Denise (February 2, 2016). "'Confirmation' Premiere Date Set By HBO". Deadline Hollywood.
- Goldberg, Lesley (March 12, 2015). "Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Goldberg, Lesley (April 28, 2015). "Wendell Pierce Set as Clarence Thomas in HBO's 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 12, 2015). "Eric Stonestreet to Co-Star in HBO's Anita Hill Pic, 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 29, 2015). "Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright Join HBO's 'Confirmation'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Goldberg, Lesley; Stanhope, Kate (June 5, 2015). "Treat Williams, Bill Irwin Join HBO's 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 5, 2015). "Erika Christensen, Cobie Smulders, Dylan Baker & Grace Gummer Join HBO Movie 'Confirmation'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Petski, Denise (June 16, 2015). "Kimberly Elise, Kristen Ariza & Malcolm Gets Join HBO Movie 'Confirmation'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Petski, Denise (July 2, 2015). "Daniel Sauli Joins HBO Movie 'Confirmation'; Jonathan Whitesell In ABC Family Pilot 'Beyond'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Petski, Denise (July 9, 2015). "Zoe Lister-Jones Joins HBO Movie 'Confirmation' In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood.
- "Confirmation - Production Listing". Backstage. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- HBO’s series about the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings proves that scandal plus time equals riveting TV Slate April 15, 2016.