Wednesday 23 August 2023

Movie Review: She Said (2022)

Genre: Investigative Journalism Drama
Director: Maria Schrader
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Ehle, Ashley Judd, Andre Braugher, Samantha Morton
Running Time: 129 minutes

Synopsis: In 2016, New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) start to investigate decades-long allegations of abusive behaviour by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. They hear from actresses Ashley Judd (as herself) and Rose McGowan as well as ex-employees, who all claim to have been sexually assaulted. But Weinstein's influence and the chilling effect of non-disclosure agreements discourage the victims from speaking on the record. Prodded by their editor Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson), Jodi and Megan doggedly pursue the story while juggling young family responsibilities.

What Works Well: Based on actual events chronicled in Kantor and Twohey's book, She Said provides an eloquent voice for women exploited, suppressed, then ignored by powerful men, their lawyers, and a system eager to sweep away inconvenient stories. Writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz and director Maria Schrader keep the tone low-key by studiously avoiding sensationalistic incident recreations, and instead build the drama by focusing on the victims' harrowing stories in their own simple words. The reporters' ordinarily messy personal lives allow Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan to round them into real women.

What Does Not Work As Well: The film is essentially a series of meetings and conversations, and the many testimonials at times threaten to merge into an unwieldy bundle.

Conclusion: Courage and words can topple malevolent mountains.

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