Starring: Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Samantha Morton, Tom Pelphrey, Jennifer Ehle, Andre Braugher, Patricia Clarkson, Ashley Judd, Elle Graham, Adam Shapiro, and Anastasia Barzee
Director: Maria Schrader
The greatest strengths of She Said are those most baked into the story, namely the actual investigative elements of the infamous Harvey Weinstein case and the journalistic sequences as the article is being put together at the New York Times offices. It also boasts some stellar performances, solid writing, and a subtly great score. However, it’s not without faults, one of those being a fairly wonky editing structure that makes the first few minutes feel jumbled. The larger conflicts are there, but absent is the focus on the protagonists’ personal conflicts that made Spotlight – this film’ closest counterpart – so convicting.
I’m a sucker for journalism movies, and while She Said isn’t one of the better ones I’ve seen, it’s good enough to satisfy cravings for a genre that doesn’t have near enough offerings. The film features mostly decent performances (Zoe Kazan struggles) and some of the worst editing I have ever seen, but what matters is the story. Though a little dry, it manages to honor Harvey Weinstein’s victims and the difficulty of their situations with a quiet respect (the lone exception is the Ashley Judd of it all, which comes off as self-aggrandizing). Overall, it’s a worthy watch, even if it doesn’t make waves.
She Said is a movie that can simply coast on its powerful and incredible true story, which is why I find it very admirable just how matter-of-fact this film is. There is no overdramatizing, and while at times that can feel a little dry in its approach, it allowed the story to speak for itself. Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are both great, and although I wish we learned more about them, I think they were written with the respect they’re owed. This was a truly effective movie that did both the subjects and victims justice.
This film was reviewed by Jacob as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2022 New York Film Festival.