“She Said” Movie Review | ‘A Victory for Women’: Justice for the Victims of Harvey Weinstein
Trigger Warning: Mentions of Rape and Sexual Assault
Movie Rating: R
She Said is a drama film about the story of New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor (played by Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (played by Carey Mulligan) in their endeavors to break the New York Times story on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. After the investigative events of the film, the evidence against Harvey Weinstein was sufficient enough in court that he was successfully sentenced to 23 years in prison. Weinstein, producer and co-founder of Miramax, had over 80 women make allegations of sexual assault. He was found guilty of two counts of rape and five counts of sexual assault. The film’s content matter alone is enough to show viewers the importance it’s message. She Said effectively conveys the danger of sexual abuse and rape in the workplace. This is a message which can resonate with students here on campus.
The movie shows the horrible actions of Weinstein and how the film industry remained complicit. It told of the powerful figures who had commited illicit acts and the long-term coverup of these crimes through the use of settlements to silence victims. She Said maintained a pacing that keeps one engaged with the story. Its soundtrack evokes an emotional response when paired with the weight of the plot— which allows for scenes to be quite impactful. Kazan and Mulligan’s acting abilities elevate the quality of the film significantly. The duo’s dynamic in their screen presence allows viewers to become even further invested in the proper justice being served to Weinstein.
There are a few drawbacks that take away from the overall effectiveness of the film’s message being conveyed. Parts of the film are over-dramatized to make the journalistic aspect more engaging. Such as near the end of the film when the group of journalists read through the article on the same desktop before its publication. Furthermore, in an attempt to contextualize the story, there is mention of the sexual assault allegations against former President Donald Trump; however, these allegations have not been properly litigated, so this aspect of the film is political in nature. Which may deter a group of people from recieving the film’s overall message. Regardless, James Austin Johnson gave a good voice impression of Trump.
The New Yorker article is alluded to throughout the film as competition for the New York Times’ release of the story. However, I feel the inclusion of the New Yorker’s piece in the story could have been more positive. The New Yorker’s article would have expanded upon how Weinstein was able to hide his activities through his connections. Notably that Weinstein was a prominent Democratic donor, including with the Clintons. Ronan Farrow, the author of the New Yorker’s piece, stated that Weinstein attempted to use his connection with Hillary Clinton to kill the exposé. However, it makes sense for this film to include this as a background element as the central setting is the New York Times headquarters and the Times journalist’s efforts to uncover Weinstein’s abuse.
Overall, this movie impressed me as it was impactful and well-told. The way in which the events were portrayed, when paired with the strong acting skills of the cast, successfully delivered the significance of the New York Times’ piece. Combined with a soundtrack that evokes emotion, this movie is worthy of accolades.
My Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐