New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor break one of the most important stories in a generation — a story that helped launch the #MeToo movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood.
Runtime: 129 minutes
Stars: Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Morton, Angela Yeoh, Tom Pelphrey, Adam Shapiro, Maren Heary, Sean Cullen, Anastasia Barzee, Keilly McQuail, Hilary Greer, Tina WongLu, Nancy Ellen Shore, Wesley Holloway, Stephen Dexter, Ruby Thomas, Emma Clare O'Connor, Brad Neilley, Stephanie Heitman, Jason Hewitt, Sujata Eyrick, Justine Colan, Steven Bitterman, Liam Edwards, Norah Feliciano, Kareemeh Odeh, Anita Sabherwal, Kelly Rian Sanson, Lauren Yaffe, George Walsh, Dalya Knapp, Maren Lord, Elle Graham
Director: Maria Schrader
goshamorrell - 11 January 2023 SHE SAID is a quiet thriller that speaks many voices and volumes that need to be heard, It will be hard to watch SHE SAID, but It needs to be watched by every generation SHE SAID is a quiet thriller that speaks many voices and volumes that need to be heard, It will be hard to watch SHE SAID, but It needs to be watched by every generation and has to be addressed. In February 2020, a New York jury found Harvey Weinstein, the producer whose films had won dozens of Oscars, guilty of criminal sexual assault and rape. Now, two and a half years later, he is again on trial, in California, facing 11 further charges. Jurors in this trial received a particular instruction: The judge barred them from watching the trailer for "She Said." Others have largely eluded consequences. Debate continues about whether the movement has gone too far or not far enough. Already, some Hollywood industry leaders have observed a regression, if not an outright backlash. This is the contentious climate in which the film arrives. "She Said," directed by Maria Schrader from a script by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, is built solid and low to the ground, as if designed to withstand these shifts in cultural winds. "She Said" opens not in the newsroom or in one of the hotel suites that Weinstein preferred, but in rural Ireland in 1992 when a young woman encounters a film crew, which swiftly adopts her. But only seconds later she is shown running down a city street, panicked - a victim, it would seem, of assault. In the film, as in life, the reporters benefit from a lucky break or two - a source within the Weinstein Company (Zach Grenier), an admission by a Weinstein lawyer (Peter Friedman). But "She Said" largely stresses the unglamorous grind of an investigation: the phone calls, the doorstepping, the delicate moral suasion that reporters use to convince sources to trust them. Here is the argument Twohey uses with the women she speaks with: "I can't change what happened to you in the past, but together we may be able to use your experience to help protect other people." "She Said" details a triumph of journalistic sympathy and precision. What will become of the real-world movement this reporting kindled? The jury's still out.
benpost-47741 - 11 January 2023 Underrated! Gripping beyond what I expected , and disappointed it's not getting more awards attention. Apparently no one in Hollywood is still ready to confront the Harvey Weinstein scenario :(
Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are terrific in their roles as Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey, respectively. The fact that they're not Oscar front runners this year is perplexing.
Taking a story that many of us know quite well at this point, and putting human faces to these characters was no small feat, and for that they should be celebrated.
It's a complicated story and everyone in this cast took a huge risk! Watch it!
kosmasp - 8 January 2023 They all did (say) No pun intended - a harrowing recollection of what many had to endure ... now there is a pun here and I almost said "also the story of Weinstein". But while this does start with Trump and all the women that came out with stories of their own about this sorry excuse of a human being, the beginning just goes to show us how backwards times still are. And there is the visual clue to this too ... though the visual clue is a throwback or rather a film set - still a nice touch.
The movie is not too subtle about what it tries to tell you. Most people know the story of Weinstein ... I have to admit, that I had no idea about Weinstein and his .... behaviour for the longest time. Apparently it was an open secret ... but as long as he made succesful movies and no big waves were coming ... they let him do what he could get away with ... but after Trump came Bill O'Reilly ... so there is some reckoning for sure ... did it include Weinstein too? I am certain most people who will watch this know the outcome already ... still quite the voyage to embark upon ... not for the faint hearted ...
RobTheWatcher - 8 January 2023 She Said She Said unfortunately suffers from having a more compelling and interesting story that it's based on rather than the movie itself. The movie has decent production and quality but in large part it's very slow and boring at times. Also, aside from the facts and evidence they had on Harvey and his scandal, they choose to include things that aren't true or not proven (in typical New York Times fashion). It's important to keep in mind how much is true here and how much is fabricated and exaggerated. I would have preferred strictly facts in a movie meant to cover such an important story. This movie is not up to what I had hoped for.
fraser-simons - 7 January 2023 So good! Better than I expected even with the hype Aside from a slight pacing issue, something I find with basically all of these journo dramas, this is probably the new gold star for the genre. Spotlight is what I routinely think of , typically - but I think this strikes even better of a balance, possibly simply because the two female protagonists are just more interesting than the ones in that movie.
This is grounded and present and doesn't pump the artificial drama. I also really like that they never show Weinstein and that a lot of the focus is before what the general intellect knows about this affair (at least, for me, anyway). The script is good the acting is solid. The only strange thing to me was that only Judd appeared as herself. You might expect a film like this to reintroduce actresses black balled by Weinstein possibly - but then again, maybe they didn't want to appear. Who knows. Either way, Judd is a heck of a person. Brass bravery right there.
ellaronci - 7 January 2023 Super solid and powerful flim While it was little bland at parts, this story was insanely inspiring and empowering to me. This nyt article definitely deserved to be adapted into a movie, and they picked great actors and actresses to portray it. Each storyline was interesting and emotional in its own way, and i really loved seeing how the plot progressed. The story was super interesting overall, not necessarily due to how the directors portrayed it, but due to the content it covered. This investigation and movement will now be remembered beyond readers of that article. So many more people will be impacted in addition to those wo already have.
IonicBreezeMachine - 1 January 2023 A solid investigative drama covering a timely ongoing topic Set in 2017, investigative reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) investigate allegations of sexual abuse and toxic workplace environments against high profile Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as the two talk to reluctant witnesses and survivors and navigate a deluge of NDAs uncovering a widespread systemic abuse of power.
She Said is an adaptation of the 2019 non-fiction book of the same name by writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey which itself covered their investigative reporting surrounding Harvey Weinstein's history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women in addition to creating a toxic workplace. The movie is an ambitious project as it covers a very important piece of recent history with these public allegations heralding the MeToo era and there's definitely been positioning for the film as an Oscar contender. She Said is told in a very familiar way, but it does respectfully shine a light on systemic abuse and enabling of that abuse.
If you're familiar with similar films like Tom McCarthy's Spotlight or Steven Spielberg's The Post, then you can expect very much the same approach from She Said as it's a methodical detail oriented piece that largely eschews sensationalisms or emotional manipulation in favor painting a picture of the issue it tackles rather than any particular individual involved while Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are both good in their roles as Twohey and Kantor and have good chemistry with each other, it's not really their movie as they mainly serve as observers to the stories of others and are collecting them as part of creating the article that will shine a light on Weinstein. The movie does try to give more personal investment for Twohey and Kantor such as a prologue showing the violent sexualized death threats Twohey received after reporting on allegations against Trump in 2016, fending off lewd unsolicited remarks from men while dining out, or scenes with the two interacting with their daughters but it doesn't really offer Kazan or Mulligan any standout moments that elevate either of them above serving as our proxies in the investigation which isn't necessarily a bad thing as it keeps the focus where it should be but does make for a dry sit on occasion.
The movie covers Twohey and Kantor's interactions with many figures in the Weinstein scandal both from the victims and witness against Weinstein as well as those representing Weinstein. The script by playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz does a solid job of bringing these survivor stories to life and while it doesn't actually show anything instead opting to show empty hotel hallways and rooms to add ambiance it makes it no less impactful especially when you have Ashley Judd playing herself relaying her story of abuse at the hands of Weinstein. Maria Schrader does a good job of keeping the film moving at a brisk pace and it never feels like it drags and all the actors give solid performances for the material.
She Said is well made prestige filmmaking and treats a fresh and relevant topic respectfully and tastefully without diving into exploitation. The movie makes a strong point about the prevalence of abuse by those in power and how it's not simply contained to Weinstein himself with the movie wisely keeping Weinstein mostly in the background or as a voice on the phone. If you enjoy true story films of this ilk such as Spotlight or The Post this is definitely one you should check out.
thinkMovies - 1 January 2023 The size of the shark matters. Sometimes a movie is a record of events, a record of the truth, which lifts its importance higher than mere entertainment. There have been some notable films about real events, history changing events, and beyond the independently high value of each film, none have come close to All the President's Men (1976).
There comes a moment in every film about journalism, that the size of the shark is revealed. In All the President's Men it is towards the end: "everyone is involved (...) your lives are in danger". In Spotlight (2015) it's when they realize the number of abusive priests, in Boston alone, is not five or six but over ninety. In She Said (2022) the size of the shark is revealed at the historical notes just before the end credits.
She Said, may not be about a crook of a US President or the systemic cover-up of abuse by the Catholic church, but it is about something that reaches far and wide in every corner of life and of the workplace: the abuse of women and the abusers' standard defense that the victims are making it up, and then paying them off for their silence.
Although the pace of the movie is slow and low key, like any investigative journalism is in real life, I would have wanted a few points of punctuation where we instantly realize we are going to need a bigger boat. Yes, such real-life points have been accurately transferred to the screen in She Said, but you have to look for them, they don't jump out at you, and if you are already sleeping you might miss them. This admittedly very well-made movie could do with a little more catering to audiences that need to be pinched awake once in a reel or so.
For years now I have stopped re-watching Weinstein's excellent movies because they were made by a despicable creature who hurt human beings while making these excellent movies. No Weinstein re-runs for me. And kudos to the New York Times investigative reporters and to the New York Times for going after a world-renowned film producer and, in the beginning of the movie, going after a presidential candidate. The producer is now serving 23 years and the candidate got elected. I wonder how much of this movie was also about our society itself, that harbors such people and promotes them. And, speaking of society depicted on film, I wonder how many negative "helpful's" I'll get as punishment for my previous phrase.
alex_with_a_P - 31 December 2022 Doesn't tell the full story Based on the book by by Towhey and Kantor, this movie felt a little bit too self-centered towards the journalists and too little towards the victims. And it shies away to show the larger cogs of systematic sexualism within the film industry and even the NY Times itself. But why am I not surprised that a Hollywood movie isn't too harsh on itself and puts the blame mostly on one guy, meanwhile we all know there are hundreds like him still in the studio system. The movie makes it look like this huge win (for the journalists) meanwhile even the movie isn't interested about the fate of the victims. One of the witnesses, Laura Madden played by a fantastic Jennifer Ehle is about to go into a life-threatening surgery (because of breast cancer). Just for dramatic effect she'll give her okay to publish her story, right before she gets wheeled into the OP room trope. But the last time we saw her she didn't look reluctant to cooperate, in fact she was the only one who seemed eager to go ahead with her story. There's a lot of this hollow drama, not only does the movie puts the main focus on the journalists who starts crying for getting published (which comes off selfish in context with the cancer patient) but the movie doesn't even bother to tell us if Laura Madden survived her operation or the cancer.
The other scene I found problematic when one of the reporters tells an unsuspecting husband that her wife was sexually assaulted in her work place decades ago. A very irresponsible action and the movie almost was brave enough to give one of their characters a flaw by realizing what she has done. But no, they brush it off instantly as her friend assures her she did the right thing. Of course the movie never follows up with the husband and wife who are left with the shards of this mess.
And that's one of my issues, for me both journalists came off selfish, they never consider ramifications or made moral decisions that could hurt their story. That's why the movie tries this clumsy attempt to show a chad in a bar who harasses the them, this scene came out of nowhere. At least it should have happened in their work place which is much closer to the truth. The movie plays it very loose when it comes to the facts, Rose McGowan played a much bigger part than the movie makes it out to be.
My biggest gripe though is that the NY Times was actually one of the villains in this story (together with NBC), it was them who sat on the Weinstein story for ten years. Not only that but they squashed it themselves when Sharon Waxman was investigating it in 2004. Ronan Farrow from the New Yorker was in fact the journalist who put the pressure on the Weinstein case. And some victims didn't even want to talk with the NY Times at the time because they knew that they have already buried the story six years ago. The Times only went ahead to publish when their hand was forced because of Farrow's article that was about to get released in the upcoming weeks.
Now I know there is artistic freedom and a movie needs to dramatize certain events, but a movie has a certain responsibility to stay true to the main story. It's dishonest work like this that hurts the metoo movement more than it helps.
Not only that but the Times had their own problems with sexual harassment and they kept those persons in the company regardless (Glenn Thrush). This would have made for a much more powerful ending, since the job is far from 'done' yet, but it's just the beginning. The movie truly lacked vision and objectivity. I'm sure this won't stop the movie getting showered in irrelevant awards come Oscar season in a couple of months.
So yeah it's too small in scope, too many loose ends, not very exciting and overall too dishonest with the events.
I agree with the movie on one thing:
It is an important story.
But it also deserved a better movie.
851222 - 31 December 2022 Raw and true Greetings from Lithuania.
"She Said" (2022) is a very true story about journalists which wrote the infamous article about Harvey Weinstein, which eventually lead to many changes for a good. This movie plays like a documentary - there is no big character development, nor any conventional plot lines. Its about the even and how one got made.
Directing of this movie was very solid - at running time 2 hours i was involved into this story even knowing the outcome very well as the one who actually read the article back in the day. Acting was on spot.
Overall, "She Said" is a true and raw account of events. Its not glamorized nor anything similar - this film plays like a documentary and its a very good one in doing that.
dolive-578-564987 - 30 December 2022 An important movie. And intriguing... It's no exaggeration that the story painstakingly brought to light by The New York Times and its remarkable reporters has changed the world. There is pre- and post-Weinstein revelations, with sexual abuse since - and quickly - revealed to be widespread. And there has been a tremendous reckoning for the abuse, with people in high places abruptly ousted from power, a phenomenon that continues.
Why a movie, when we already know most of this life-altering story? Because only the movie can convey the tension for all parties that spanned the entire investigation. The fear that Harvey Weinstein, Miramax and Hollywood itself would rise and destroy or at least grievously harm Weinstein's victims to shut them up (they'd already tried to do so with hush money), as well as two reporters pretty much alone with all the information they had gleaned, and knowing the danger that put them in.
I confess I write this as a mainstream newspaper columnist and magazine reporter, a 40 year veteran of journalism. Even though the mighty Times has your back, as with "Woodstein" and The Washington Post, there are moments when you feel alone and your life to be in jeopardy.
And finally the greatest fear, "What if we get this wrong?" The journalist's chief responsibility, as that of the doctor, is "First, do no harm."
This very good movie does not glamorize journalism. It is restrained in its sympathy for the victims. And it has a slow enough pace, though it so compelling it goes by quickly, that you can see the details of these truth-seekers work.
A fine show, all around.
achlusogie - 30 December 2022 Not impressed. It felt forced and seemed like the even the actors weren't conviced to play their roles. The pace was horrible, several stories were told but none were explained nor finished...the edit was not strong enough since it was jumping between close-up and wide-angle shots whenever the heroes were speaking to each other or plotting. The cinematography + Grading together is a thing of beauty... but didnt fit the storyline.
Everything was predictable ( the jokes, the reactions) just a bunch of clichés put together without any direction. I couldnt stop looking at the time on my Watch.
The Film is beautiful to watch on mute.
cc0077 - 28 December 2022 Powerful Film There wasn't anything very unique about the plot, however the experiences of each of the victim made me more intrigued about how the movie was gonna end. The acting was wonderful too, and the fact that this movie was based off of something that actually happened made the movie more impactful. I think these movies are really good in order to spread awareness, and there should be more of them since I honestly didn't know about this incident before watching this movie. Like some of the other reviews, the ending was predictable in general, however that didn't make me bored or anything and I still wanted to continue watching.
Horst_In_Translation - 27 December 2022 Poor man's Spotlight "She Said" is a pretty short title for this rather long movie as the duration here is over 130 minutes, so it crosses the two-hour mark easily, even if this includes closing credits too. This movie received some great praise and promising predictions early in the season, but turns out now with the Oscars getting closer that it is losing a lot of its steam. The perhaps most likely nominations are for screenplay and also for Carey Mulligan's performance. She got in at the Golden Globes, so there is definitely a shot that she scores another Oscar nomination. My prediction is that it won't happen as her previous one is still very recent, but then again many said she gave the best female performance of the year with that one, so we will see how things go for her this time. Her character's screen time decreases as the film goes on and for the most part she is not having a really big impact anymore, but with her presence at the start, she could also be seen as lead, even if there is no way she will get nominated for that. The one definite lead here is Zoe Kazan and it surprises me that she only got second credit, maybe because Mulligan is the bigger name and also because the film starts with the latter. But a scene towards the end is fairly telling when we have Kazan's character tear up from joy and Mulligan's is just there to comfort her and give her a hug. I still think that Kazan looks much younger than she is, so good for her. You probably would not really guess she is older than Mulligan. But both are fairly attractive. If Kazan is good enough to be a lead in a big Hollywood movie is debatable. From what I saw here, I would say she is not, but I had other problems with this film and she is definitely not one of the biggest problems. I will get to those later.
The one thing that made this film most interesting to me was the inclusion of director Maria Schrader. I am really glad she managed the breakthrough in America, won an Emmy if I remember correctly and there are at least two films in her body of work that I adore. I mean as a director. She switched from acting to directing, even if here and there can also still be seen in front of the camera. The first film would be her movie about Stefan Zweig with Josef Hader playing the protagonist and the second film would be her elaboration on artificial intelligence and robots connected with romance. That one I adored even more and it was a pity that it did not manage the Oscar nomination in the foreign language category. Maybe the Oscars are not (yet) meant to be Schrader's stage to shine. But she is getting there, hopefully with projects superior to this one here. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are also credited as writers here and they will surely be on location if the film manages to be present during Oscar night. I am not sure if they could even be considered if the screenplay nomination happens. It is more likely that the nomination would go to Rebecca Lenkiewicz alone. She is the one who co-wrote the film "Ida" in 2013, so almost a decade ago already and the director and writer of that one was Pawel Pawlikowski. This deserves to be mentioned because the movie won the foreign language Oscar for Poland, so it is not just Schrader's transition to Hollywood here, even if Lenkiewicz is also not new to the international big screen, for example penned a Keira Knightley movie and was also in charge of the quite successful "Small Axe" television miniseries. There are definitely parallels between Schrader and Lenkiewicz and also age-wise they are not too far away from each other. Would not surprise me if we see more collaborations in the future. Lenkiewicz being the writer here is also not a surprise at all because almost all her previous projects (including "Ida") focused on women at the center of the story rather than on men. But it is also not a surprise then I could say that I did not like her film here too much because I already found "Ida" highly overrated back then.
Now, let's get back to this one here and look at the cast: I already mentioned the two female actresses at the center of it all, but there are other familiar faces here. One would be Patricia Clarkson and I am not surprised she is part of this. Never saw any real talent in her. With Mulligan, I am maybe more disappointed. Kazan I guess simply had to take the role given the project's potential dimensions, but Mulligan could probably get in with every movie she wants these days, so poor decision from her. After reading the shallow screenplay, she should have declined the offer. If we stay with the female cast members for now, there is Jennifer Ehle that some may recognize, but this is pretty much it with the exception of Ashley Judd. Honestly, I think it is in general a bit on the cringeworthy side if actors play themselves in a full-on serious movie without comedy at all. I love watching Larry David's show and I really enjoyed seeing Nicholas Cage portray himself in a funny manner not too long ago, but Judd's turn here felt really off. So I guess I give props then to Rose McGowan with whom I don't know what she thinks about the film. I mean she agreed that her name would be mentioned I suppose, but she easily could have played herself during the phone conversation and we would only have heard her voice, not seen her, but even there she is not playing herself. Another name you will hear on numerous occasions is Gwyneth Paltrow. She is also not in this movie and of course they also had to find a way to get Lena Dunham in here, at least mention her. It almost seems a bit desperate what is said about her. But right what I expected. There are other women from the industry mentioned in this context, but no really big names. Oh and I almost forgot to say, "Charmed" rules. I am glad McGowan was part of this show.
But now back to the movie here: I think it is an important subject we have here and this deserves a good film, also a film critical in other departments perhaps, but the outcome was so shallow and superficial that it was really a missed opportunity. There were so many scenes and segments that did almost nothing for me and felt with either no connection to the subject at hand or with a poorly-executed connection. I don't blame Schrader. Nobody could have turned this screenplay into a quality film. I will just mention a few moments: There are two examples of how characters from the good side are harassed. One received feces in the mail, another is slightly worried when a big black car drives slowly behind her. This was really the epitome of a student movie. Another problem is that these scenes include only one person, no witnesses. This means they perfectly could have been added for cheap thrills or if they are supposed to be true, then these moments could just have been invented by the characters. This is the problem with this movie. There is no critical take on anything about it either. The characters are either completely good or bad. Okay, there are shades in-between here and there with a lawyer who only does his job or the guy they visit at his home when his wife wonders what is going on or the woman on the phone who gives a hint to the protagonist caller, but these characters have one minute of screen time or we only hear their voices. I realize I have not even talked about the male cast members. There's not too many anyway. Nobody who is even remotely close to being lead. Weinstein is not shown in this film as a character, we only hear his voice during a few phone conversations. Andre Braugher is in this film and that is nice because I like him on his show (that ended by now) and I do not always like the show, but he is always good there, so I found it really disappointing how he plays such a boring character here that has absolutely nothing to offer story-wise. He has much more talent than that. Another actor in here is Zach Grenier. He always has great recognition value, even if I was wrong apparently about remembering him from "Dark Angel", one of my favorite television series ever.
As for the males in this movie, this is really the epitome of poor writing. Just look at the partners of the two female protagonists. They are basically depicted as the way men/husbands should be. Absolutely nothing characters, boring and almost in existence only to be there when their wives need them. This is really the equally wrong reaction to the (alleged) lack of interesting female characters in Hollywood, especially older ones. They tried to hide it by including a brief elaboration on one of the two guys' jobs, but it did not change a thing. Finally, a few words on Weinstein: I trust the court there to have made the right decision and there is no denying he did some despicable acts, but what the film tells us here about what he did, that he asked people to massage him, that he was suddenly naked or wearing a bathing gown etc. Was creepy, but not a crime. We also have women state that they agreed to have sex with him, even if they just let it happen. That does not make his actions right, but there is a difference between what he did and forcing somebody to have sex while you put a knife at their throat or gun to their head. I guess nobody will complain about the gigantic prison sentence he got for his actions, so we can also discuss this from the other side I guess. Of course, making sure that women who reject him find no work anymore at all is as despicable as it gets. What was equally despicable here was the focus on Donald Trump at the start. Needless to say that he was not found guilty of anything, but the film acts as if he was. No mention of Stormy Daniels either where we can now say her accusations against President were a full-on smear campaign. It is definitely necessary to also give fair treatment to males in these situations. This film does not, therefore you should not give it a watch. One thing you should never forget is that the ones who oppose the bad guys are not automatically the good guys.