She Said is a 2022 American biographical drama film directed by Maria Schrader, based on the New York Times investigation that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, and Rebecca Corbett, and the 2019 book of the same name covering the investigation by Kantor and Twohey. The film stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as Twohey and Kantor, alongside Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, and Samantha Morton in supporting roles, and Ashley Judd appearing as herself.
The movie tells of several women’s stories of their incounter(s) with Harvey Weinstein formerly of The Weinstein Company, as well as a few stories about other powerful famous men like Bill O’Reilly, author and fomer political commentator and television host. It also tells of how very powerful men have gotten away with sexual misconduct, how it is often covered up, swept under rugs, and ignored. Since the exposition of Weinstein, his jail sentence, and the bankruptcy of The Weinstein Company, more women have come forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment against him and other famous men, like Bill Cosby, Bryan Singer, Roman Polanski, and Danny Masterson.
Just like Twohey’s and Kantor’s NYT story and the book based off of it, this is a very important film, not just for women’s rights, but to show that just because a not just man, but person is of powerful status, that doesn’t mean that they should be able to get away horrific acts. It also proves, that standing up for yourself instead of pretending you weren’t hurt is better than staying silent. Although sometimes speaking out against someone and what they did to you or someone else, doesn’t always work to punsih that person, it does expose that person’s true nature. So many big name men who have been accused of bad things have had little punishment (being banned, or just a few years or months in jail, probation, etc.) and are walking around free men, like Bill Cosby being let out of jail, Bill O’Reilly still writing books, Polanski still making movies. It is sad the people that still support abusers.
The acting in this film is great from Carey Mulligan who plays Megan Twohey and Patricia Clakson who plays Rebecca Corbett, but Zoe Kazan is good, not great as Jodi Kantor, someone else could have done better in her role. Andre Braugher is fantastic as Dean Baquet, former NYT executive editor from 2014 to 2022. Jennifer Ehle does a fine job as Lauren Madden and Samantha is equally good as Zelda Perkins.
The film is very slow for the majority of its runtime, making it extremely boring for the most part, but when Twohey has her baby, women start coming forward with their stories, and the article gets published, it gets more exciting, but not a whole lot more. With a plot like this one, you should expect the film to be pretty slow, but not so slow, it’s hard to watch, despite the importance of the story. I found myself looking away many times throughout the viewing. As a feminist, I was so excited to see this movie, but was left very disappointed. Love the story, the acting was superb, but the slowness made it almost unwatchable. I felt more like I was watching a Dateline or 20/20 episode, rather than a movie. No, you don’t need lots of action, romance, sex, or humor to make a film a great, but don’t lollygag around for the majority of the runtime.
Overall, feminist will probably enjoy this film the most. Conservatives may want to steer clear of this one, because they do trash talk several powerful conservative men, as well as The Fox News Channel. You have to be made of rocks to not get that this is a liberal feminist film, as well as one about female rights, but this is a movie that is needed and has been needed for a long time. Something had been needing to be done about sexual harassment towards females, not just in Hollywood, not just in the entertainment industry, but all workplaces period. I’m glad females can speak up for themselves now, because for decades, we are taught to keep mum, remain calm, and pretend negative things never happened. Maybe more films, television shows, books, and news stories like this one will continue to shine a light on subjects on like this. 18+ 3/5