*This is a true story…
The New York Times journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor publish a report that exposes sexual abuse allegations against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The shocking story also serves as a launching pad for the #MeToo movement, shattering decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault and harassment.
“Time to write.”
In 2017 The New York Times put out an article telling the world what a lot of Hollywood people already knew, that Harvey Weinstein was a grotesque piece of crap that used power and influence to abuse women. In that article actresses like Ashley Judd and other workers for Miramax talked about these horrendous stories and showed us what it was like to be an actress in Hollywood in the late 90’s and probably a long time before that. Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) wrote that article and also wrote a book about their experience researching the story which is the basis of the new film SHE SAID. Like SPOTLIGHT, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN, THE POST, and many more before this the movie shows us how Journalism can be used to truly change the way people think and change the world.
Like many journalism films before this follows a similar thread. Journalist is alerted to possible situation, she gets stonewalled at every turn, a senior journalist comes in to help, together they uncover a heinous situation. It sounds stupid when you say it like that, but at the end of the day it comes down to execution, and this movie does just that. We get to understand the writers a great deal, but also the subjects of the articles. We get to sit down and listen to their stories and understand why this story was so important not just for the movie industry but the movement to get rid of all abuse and harassment in all industries. Some of the scenes can feel a bit long, but the stories are so powerful it is hard to fault the director for not cutting them down.
Technically this movie is interesting, first we get Natasha Braier as the DP here. We do not get a chance to really show off her skills just due to the nature of the film, which is frustrating because she has not done a movie since HONEY BOY, and that movie was stunning to look at. I will say though the way they frame the scene when we finally get the Harvey confrontation is spectacular, and haunting. The Nicholas Britell score is great as well and sets the mood the entire time. He is one of the masters so I expected nothing less.
Stock Up – Zoe Kazan
Every time she is in a movie I just want her to be in more movies. However, she makes such good choices in films and roles it is hard to fault her. She nails it here again as the de facto lead and plays the angsty up and coming writer to perfection. Like I said I am a fan of hers and want to see her in as much as possible in the future.
Stock Neutral – Carey Mulligan
Another actor I would love to see in more movies, but tends to make amazing choices (see PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN). She slides right in here as the confident veteran who can get anyone to talk when she needs it. I love her in everything so there is not much to say here but I do hope she can make a serious Oscar run, I think she is in that echelon of actors.
Stock Up – Maria Schrader
I had not heard of her until her Netflix hit UNORTHODOX, which my wife and I loved. So to see her take on a story like this was amazing. I think she is a fantastic story teller and has a very bright future as a filmmaker. I look forward to what ever is next for her.
Who’s That Guy?
Andre Braugher – 66 IMDB Credits
One of the greats and probably should qualify for a category above this, however a lot of people still see him and say oh that guy from Brooklyn Nine Nine, or something else. He is awesome here as the classic questioning boss, but also knows when to lay the smackdown.
Peter Friedman – 72 IMDB Credits
Most recently seen in Succession he is a classic character actor giving a great performance here. He plays Lanny, one of Harvey’s attorney’s and has some very pivotal scenes.
Zach Grenier – 103 IMDB Credits
Another guy you see and are just excited because you know an amazing scene is coming. He did not have much to say in this story but everything he did say and every action he took was important.
*A couple other tidbits
- It was very cool to see Ashley Judd play herself in this movie.
- The recordings they play are horrifying.
- Jennifer Ehle was fantastic in her monologue scene.
- Patricia Clarkson! One of the greats doing it again here.
This is another in a long line of great journalism movies. One thing I loved was that they showed that you have to work on these stories anywhere. Walking your dog, waking up in the middle of the night, while you are with your kids. News never stops and this movie really shows that to the audience. I like seeing these stories portrayed like this because it shows you in plain sight how these stories are formed. I think this is an important and powerful story that people should see and make sure we treat people the right way.
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