Synopsis: New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor break one of the most important stories in a generation, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigation that helped launch the #MeToo movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood.
Director: Maria Shrader
Stars: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher
I really like Carey Mulligan. I liked her in Drive (2011); I loved her Academy Award-nominated role as Cassandra in Promising Young Woman (2020). Her performance in that film was during the height of the ‘MeToo’ movement, and if that cause needed a superhero, it was Cassandra.
Mulligan’s new film also deals with a vital part of that movement. It recounts the journalistic investigation of New York Times reporters Megan Twohey (Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan). The film starts on the heels of Pat O’Reilly of Fox News fame, who leaves the network among a sea of sexual harassment allegations. The paper then investigates systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood.
The investigation centers around Harvey Weinstein, the then-head of Miramax films. There is smoke, but no one wants to go on the record. The journalists track down every lead and unturned every piece of evidence to build their article. There is smoke, but they are trying to find the fire.
My adoration for Mulligan is well documented, but Zoe Kazan is also great in this film. Many will remember her from the dramedy The Big Sick (2017); she takes on this very serious work effortlessly.
This film reminded me of movies such as The Paper (1994) and All the President’s Men (1976). It was interesting getting to know the women behind the story and understanding what they went through in their quest for the truth.
While many are familiar with the case, the retelling of it is fascinating. I think the essence of the story was effectively captured on film.
The film editing of Hansjorg Weißbrich is top-notch. He blends the flashback and current events extremely well and uses them so effectively.
Patricia Clarkson and Andre Braugher are award-winning actors and embrace their roles as editor and executive editor, respectively, of the New York Times. Clarkson’s Rebecca is extremely supportive as their editor, and you want a boss like Andre Braugher’s Dean Baquet.
In a time where the term ‘fake news’ is used daily, I appreciated the behind-the-scenes look at all of the fact-checking that goes on before a story is published.
Comparisons may be drawn between this movie and the 2019 film Bombshell. I can appreciate the comparison, but keep in mind Bombshell dealt directly with the women at Fox News, while this film is about the journalists and their quest for the truth.
There are also some interesting cameos in the film that lend not only to the legitimacy but the importance of the story.
She Said is an exceptional film with heavy subject matter that crosses the finish line with strong acting from its leads and a compelling story that effectively shook up the world.