She Said Is A Masterpiece Of A Film

It would be difficult to find someone who isn’t at least somewhat familiar with the unimaginable crimes that Harvey Weinstein precipitated throughout his decades long career as one of the premier film moguls at Miramax Studios. Anyone who attended the movies throughout the 90s and into the 2000’s will have inevitably seen several of his films. She Said recounts the heroic efforts of two journalists from the New York Times and the incredible lengths they went to, to tell the victims stories.

The film begins with Meghan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) who breaks the story of the accusations against Donald Trump’s sexual misconduct. Even with the source willing to be named in the story, we all know the eventuality, Donald Trump still became president of the United States.

Several months pass and Jodi Cantor (Zoe Kazan) hearing whispers of sexual misconduct by another giant, Harvey Weinstein, begins her own investigation in an effort to share the truth with her readers and be a voice for those who had been victimized over the decades. She reaches out to Rose McGowen, who is reluctant to share her story with anyone from the New York Times. Ultimately, she agrees as long as she is not named in the article. So begins the first step in the incredibly harrowing journey to uncover some of the darkest Hollywood secrets.

Jodi reaches out to Meghan in an effort to recruit the star journalist to her cause. Meghan is reluctant to assist, presumably due to the feeling of futileness that she felt with her Donald Trump story, but ultimately surrenders in the name of journalism. The two reach out to notable stars including Ashley Judd (who portrays herself on screen), and begin to untangle the frightening web of abuse, payoffs, and cover ups, that have literally gone unchecked for decades.

She said is told in a surprisingly grounded fashion. The characters are portrayed in an ultra-realistic manner, giving the film a more documentary style approach. It is not needlessly “Hollywooded up” for the sake of telling a gripping story. The story, being sensational enough, left little need for the folks at Universal Studios to provide additional filler to tell an interesting story. One might think that a film featuring journalist researching an article for nearly two hours and fifteen minutes might start to drag, but it doesn’t.

While we all know how the story ends, it’s the riveting twists and turns that the journalist takes to get there that is where the real intrigue lies. While Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan perform Oscar worthy performances, it’s the performances of the numerous tertiary characters that help weave the story into one of the best dramas of the year.

It’s practically impossible to come out of She Said without a bit of rage against a system that allows so much abuse, with little-to-no consequences. While not unusual when it comes to the rich and powerful it does show how two simple reporters at one of the world’s largest newspapers can provide a voice to so many who don’t have one. Ironically, in the beginning of the film Meghan asks Jodi, “Why do we need to give actresses a voice, they already have a platform, why do they need one?”. To which Jodi replies, “What about all the others, who have worked with him that don’t”.

She said is a masterpiece of a film, told in a way that adds to the credibility of the true story that inspired it.

4.5 out of 5 stars