As my days of graduate school in New York drew to a close, I went to the NYU careers center and saw an opening for an entry-level position at Miramax, read books, and reported to the studio on their suitability for adaptation into films. It seemed like there was something I could do, so I applied but never heard an answer. It’s funny, I never thought about this incident in my life until I read it she saidJodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s book on their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting for the New York Times that brought down Harvey Weinstein. It’s made me grateful that I’ve found my way into a workplace where no one has ever asked me to cover up someone’s sexual assault, as the script readers at Miramax apparently did. To quote a film that Miramax produced, it was a sliding doors moment for me Somewhere out there is an alternate universe where I’m in a prison in upstate New York after murdering one of the studio’s bosses.
Anyway, now I’ve seen the movie version of she said, and if you want to be cynical about a Hollywood film that celebrates the journalists who did the work Hollywood wouldn’t do, then by all means do it. i have other problems
The story begins in the summer of 2016, after the Times exposes Bill O’Reilly as a sexual predator, and the editors sense an opening for other workplace harassment stories. Jodi (Zoe Kazan) gets a tip about rampant sexual abuse in Hollywood and starts making calls. Her investigation gains momentum when she teams up with Megan (Carey Mulligan), who was struck by double postpartum depression after having her first child and receiving death threats after confronting the sex history of one Donald J. Trump ( spoken by James Austin-Johnson). As they rack up frequent flyer miles and travel to Weinstein’s LA and UK offices, reporters find both former employees and famous actresses sharing similar stories of how they were lured into hotel rooms where Harvey asked for a massage. The problem is that nobody is willing to step on the plate and face the inevitable firestorm alone.
The obvious model for this film is headlightwhich unfortunately is not a flattering comparison she said. The 2015 Best Picture winner gained power through its gradual build-up of detail as its main characters transitioned from individual stories of abuse to the system that kept abusers in place. The current movie isn’t running – Jodi at first doesn’t know where to start when contacting Hollywood people, and then in the next scene she’s suddenly talking to Ashley Judd (who portrays herself). Director Maria Schrader and screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz want to underscore the stories of Weinstein’s victims, but while these are powerful in their own right, they become deafening in the context of the film because they tell of the same man molesting women using the same methods.
The film would have benefited from focusing more on the news gathering process. One scene is told to us second-hand when it would have been more effective on screen, when Weinstein’s attorney Lisa Bloom (Anastasia Barzee) addresses Jodi as a fellow Jew and says that writing the truth about Harvey will make all Jews look bad. Harvey himself (Mike Houston) is only seen from a distance and only heard as a voice uttering threats over the phone, and while I can see the logic behind this, it rules out a scene from the book where the self-conscious movie mogul confronts became the much smaller Kantor and assured her that he was worse than the stories about him suggested.
The story deserves a serious approach, but that of the filmmakers defeats it in the end. bomb is a film about corporate sexism, in some respects inferior to this one, but made easier to digest by its lightness. tar is a more revealing film, partly because it dares to be told from the abuser’s point of view. she said does have commendable things like its two leads, as Kazan is particularly good at instilling a reporter’s gift of listening to people without judging them. It is so matter-of-fact and craves respectability so much that it squeezes a lot of life out of itself.
Starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. Directed by Maria Schrader. Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz based on the book by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Rated R