She Said is not a spectacular film.
It doesn’t try to impress you with quick edits, flashy effects, or even mind-blowing photos. Its visual palette is not saturated, and most shots are of people talking or walking, or people talking while walking.
It doesn’t have to be a circus performance because the story is so gripping. It’s frightening, and furious, and triumphant, and harrowing, and heartbreaking.
It pulses with emotional and social depth, and given that She said it’s a familiar story, it’s wonderful that it can still be insightful and surprising.
Based New York Timesinvestigation of s*xual harassment, rape and assault by Harvey Weinstein, She said is a spare and inquisitive look at an industry with a huge imbalance of power.
And how women became grain for the mill, dehumanized and recycled in a structure designed to support lustful men and self-interest. It’s a system driven by self-interest and cowardice, and people like Weinstein knew exactly how to use it.
She said fits into the great tradition of great journalistic films and sits on a shelf next to All the President’s people, spotlight as well as Mail.
Directed by Maria Schroeder, Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan star as real-life investigative reporters Jody Cantor and Megan Twoey. She said it is the story of a process, a close look at the level of work, dedication and courage it took to bring to light Weinstein’s decades of exploitation, intimidation and illegal activities.
He traces their quest from the seed of an idea—a tip-off to Rose McGowan’s then-up-and-coming book—until publication, when she fueled the MeToo movement.
This is a movie that shows all the hard work of investigative journalism, all the unanswered phone calls, knocking on the door, meeting sources and persuading people to talk. There is nothing glamorous about the concert, it’s really just beating beats and chasing paper trails and witnesses.
Given that the subject of their investigation, Weinstein, works in an industry that is all about glitz and glitz, it would be too tempting to “embellish” the film, but Schrader innately understands that there is nothing “s*xy” about s*x. workplace harassment.
which She said what’s really good is that while Cantor, Toohey and their editors have been hard at work putting together the story and it’s focused on their efforts, it has women heroes who shared their experiences.
Often in these dramas the choice is to make the hero a journalist or a journalist, and by no means does it. She said downplay Cantor’s or Tui’s work, but with this MeToo story, he knows none of this would have happened if Weinstein’s victims hadn’t been willing to speak out.
That’s where the courage is at She said the real lie is in the power it took Ashley Judd (who plays herself), Laura Madden, Rowena Chu and Zelda Perkins to use her voice to stop the predator.
She said gives such care and attention to these women; it highlights the gravity of their experience, the trauma they have carried all these years, and the risk they have taken in sharing their stories.
It’s not small things, and sometimes it’s forgotten in the tsunami of women who came forward after New York Times published his story. But for that first wave of women, they were alone, against a social system that often destroyed women who dared to speak.
She said worthy of their stories.
She said in theaters now
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