‘She Said’ Movie Review: An Imperative Account of Weinstein’s Abuse That Gives His Victims Time to Speak

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Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in “She Said”

Five years ago, The New York Times published an article about Harvey Weinstein’s rampant sexual abuse of his colleagues, including many high-profile actors. What followed were other women who told their own stories of abuse in Hollywood, not just Weinstein, and the movie mogul’s eventual conviction and sentencing. by director Maria Schrader She says is an empathetic and effective account of the making of New York Times article that spawned this #MeToo movement, and the 2019 book of the same name.

Adapted from the novel of the same name, the film traces the journey of two journalists, Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan), uncovering Weinstein’s sexual assault allegations, as they follow a trail of allegations .

True to its title, She says is an act of listening and it shapes a journalistic thriller through conversations. The film’s purpose, which is essentially to center the voices of the women involved in this case, is fulfilled through a series of thoughtful conversations.

She says

Director: Maria Schrader

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Morton, Ashley Judd and more

Duration: 129 minutes

Script: In 2017, journalists from The New York Times piecing together the allegations to uncover a pattern of systemic sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein

By conversing with the victims, Megan and Jodie learn the extent of Weinstein’s rot. In conversations with each other, they share their personal anxieties about the case. However, the most poignant conversations take place between Megan and Jodie with their respective families, especially their children. In these, they try to maintain a sense of normalcy, protecting them from their work.

It sheds light on what is often not shown in journalism-centric films; a person reporting an incident/topic that they themselves experienced first hand. Megan is threatened with rape while covering sex allegations against Donald Trump, and later in the film, when she has lunch with Jodie, they both laugh.

Despite the repetitive element of Megan and Jodie interviewing the victims, the storyline remains tight, and the reporters straddle the responsibility of chronicling the past while rushing to stop Weinstein in his tracks.

Another choice that defines the film is its portrayal of Harvey Weinstein himself. He is categorically the predator, and the script does not personify him in any way. His visible on-screen presence is only a shot of him from behind, but the film still manages to convey the abject horror he has imbued. As Megan and Jodie try to get women to record their story, they come up against repeated obstacles of fear and silence, which, as one woman points out, were “built by Weinstein”.

She says never gives Weinstein the personality with which he intimidated Hollywood. He is stripped of every facet that makes him human, leaving behind only a monster that hovers hauntingly as Megan and Jodie piece together their history.

All of these creative choices lend themselves to the creation of a film that can serve as a mold for other media in the future that want to deal with the subject of sexual assault; that the exploitation and dehumanization of women is not something that must be filmed to be consumed in order to record its impact. Just listen to what the victims say.

Bringing in Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow to play themselves adds another complex layer to the script that oscillates between the sensibilities of a fictional adaptation and the clinical precision of a documentary.

However, the subject matter of this film and its domestic production demands that Hollywood take a look back at how it handled the #MeToo movement in 2017. Although the film’s writing and direction are led by women, it would be remiss to not to note that the production the company that supports it belongs to Brad Pitt. The actor has not only worked with Weinstein on numerous occasions, but he also faces allegations of abuse.

In its more than two hours of screen, She says provides a compelling account of the efforts that broke the silence Weinstein had imposed on his victims. While the #MeToo movement itself has brought less than adequate change to the industry, this film remains a study in how to deal with stories of sexual assault, the first step of which continues to be to listen. .

She Said is currently shooting in theaters

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