Opening 8 Dec 2022
Writing credits: Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, Rebecca Corbett
Principal actors: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle
She Said tells the story of the 2017 New York Times investigation by reporters Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan), and their editor Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson) into Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. Their Pulitzer-prize winning articles revealed decades of Weinstein’s crimes, helped to bring the movie mogul to justice, and sparked the #MeToo movement. The movie is based on Kantor and Twohey’s investigative reporting and subsequent book and does an excellent job of transferring the story from the page to the screen, while adding a visual layer of suspense.
The success of the film is due to smart choices by director Maria Schrader and screenplay writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz. One of these choices is to focus on the women who had their lives and careers derailed by Weinstein’s heinous sexual crimes, showing the before and after (but smartly never showing the crimes and keeping Weinstein’s presence to a bare minimum). By highlighting the range of victims, from non-celebrities, such as employees of Miramax, Weinstein’s film company, Laura Madden (Jennifer Ehle) and Zelda Perkins (played by Samantha Morton in one of the most forceful scenes in the film), to famous actresses like Ashley Judd (who plays herself), the movie emphasizes just how many women lived with shame, anger, and fear, and how hard Kantor and Twohey worked to gain their trust. And while the movie is primarily focused on Kantor and Twohey’s grueling journalistic work, from gently convincing victims to go on the record to unearthing legal documents that revealed how Weinstein paid off victims and buried his crimes, it also shows us moments of the reporters’ private lives. In taking time to retreat to scenes of the two women with their partners and children, the movie further humanizes each individual woman’s experiences. She Said beautifully focuses on the bravery of the women who came forward and on how Kantor and Twohey listened to them and ultimately encouraged some of them to “jump together” – a refrain in the film referring to the power of multiple victims speaking out simultaneously. It’s an outstanding movie. (Diana Schnelle)