“She Said” Movie Review | Movie-Blogger.com


He said
Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan in a scene from ‘She Said’. (Photo: Universal Pictures).

Maria Schrader’s “He said” – Based on New York Times Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey’s investigation – powerful. Of course, it is also strong as a journalistic epic. Like “Spotlight” or “All the President’s Men,” this is a wonderful portrayal of the craft of journalism. As a late critic said Roger Ebert Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in “All the President’s Men”, a story about two actors (here Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan), who study to be a journalist rather than an acting master class. It is strong on other levels as well. Where “President’s Men” is about uncovering a political scandal and “Spotlight” is about exposing sexual abuse in newspapers when justice has failed in the courts, “She Said” is about sexism targeting women. It’s about how it feels and how it affects the investigation at stake. It’s a nasty feeling, as it should be. And Schrader, Mulligan and Kazan bring us well into the world.

Many powerful films have been made about the press. And the best ones are the ones that bring viewers into this world and care about you. First of all, we are interested because journalists are interested. What a director Maria Schrader In “She Said,” the main characters must be positioned as all women — of course they are. Twohey (Mulligan) has been working to expose sexual harassment for some time. We see it in the opening (the year is 2016) when he takes up a topic against the then presidential candidate. Donald Trump accused of sexual harassment. His phone call with Trump — because he has to respond to the accusation to get the story out to the press — is difficult to witness. Trump is actually voiced James Austin Johnson, but incredibly accurate. It also establishes the defendants’ threats rather than their defense.

Schrader, Mulligan and Kazan Tackle Tough Material

So, from the conversation of the actress Rose McGowan – who does not go to admission –Times Journalist Jodi Kantor (Kazany) sets out to dig deep into allegations of sexual harassment and rape. Harvey Weinstein, Miramax film company magnate. He’s having a hard time getting women to sign up, so he enlists the help of Meghan Twohey. Twohey just had a baby and is probably going through postpartum depression. The phone conversation between the two forms the basis of their friendship. Kantor has two children and has been through this. We get the impression that his sympathy for Twohey’s situation is just what he needed during a difficult time.

And I think that’s what works best in “She Said,” this unspoken bond between Kazan and Mulligan—between Kantor and Twohey—because they understand… this thing that they’re trying to explore. Twohey takes a moment to question whether investigating damages against Hollywood stars—women who already have a voice—is the right direction for the Times. But as we have already seen McGowan, who complains that he brought several things a Times (abuses and causes) which have been placed in the “Styles” section, we see that they may not have the voice that Twohey believes.

He said
Scene from the movie “She Said”. (Photo: Universal Pictures).

What Schrader does with “She Said” that makes it work is create a palpable sense of dread that permeates the film. It does this with intimate camera shots (Natasha Braier cinematographer), which always makes me think. Twohey is called to his cell while walking around Manhattan in one scene. The caller tells her he wants to “rape her and kill her” because of her investigation into Trump. In another scene, however, Braier pulls the camera back during the day as Twohey and Kantor pass two construction workers. They just stand there, but for a moment we wonder if they’re going to be harassed. In an earlier scene, we saw a pushy bar couple interrupt their working lunch and call Twohey a “bitch”. In the film, you can learn how women often feel by simply existing, and often it feels quite ugly.

Sexism and harassment on screen

Being a journalistic film, there is a lot of procedure here. Twohey and Kantor meet with women, past and present, who have been sexually assaulted and raped by Weinstein, and with sources who point them in the right direction. Mulligan and Kazan play the characters well. And although Mulligan was rightly nominated for the the latest Golden Globe, I really feel that so far the awards bodies have dropped the ball by ignoring Kazan, who is amazing. Her desire to tell this story is palpable. One scene where she unwittingly lets her husband know that his wife has been victimized is hard to bear. And the film ends – when the actress Ashley Judd (who plays himself, but only through voice) agrees to go on record, he’s in it with the power of raw emotion. Kazan’s expression says it all, a silent “yes!” it’s worth all their investigation.

The film’s score is somber and melancholic, even intimidating at times. “She Said” often feels like something bad is going to happen to the reporters during the investigation. And though I never did, I couldn’t help but think back to “All the Present’s Men” and Watergate. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein directed an investigation that he was able to do take down the president. But when I watched that movie, I never felt their danger. But here it is shocking; especially when you compare that Twohey and Kantor are only trying to reveal the truth about a Hollywood executive, not the commander-in-chief of an entire country.

Another score for journalistic films

He said
Carey Mulligan in She Said. (Photo: Universal Pictures).

The answer of the movie – both critically and with regular audiences — has been favorable, but I think what’s alarming is that the criticisms I’ve heard are really about the sexism that Twohey and Kantor have to wade through to get this story. And I think that’s what’s so powerful about “She Said,” while making it difficult for some people to survive: the film confronts audiences with the existence of sexism, many of whom may never have seen it up close. . But this writer’s greatest achievement is “She Said.” This story is not easy to decipher like “All the President’s Men” or even “Spotlight”. It’s confusing and triggering. And it should be.

Overall, “She Said” is a spectacular film. The main characters and even the supporting actors play it well (Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher) knock it out of the park. The film keeps its cool – like all good journalism. But there is one scene, in the aforementioned bar, where Twohey loses it for a moment. It’s a deserved and healthy reaction, and it really shows the audience what’s at stake in the investigation. With its solid source material, performances and writing, “She Said” remains one of my favorite films of the year. Without moralizing, it hits hard. That we will never see Weinstein (currently a 23 years in prison), but only his influence makes this performance even more impressive. Another score for journalism, and a score for Maria Schrader and the cast, who will hopefully receive more recognition at the 95th Academy Awards than they have received so far.

Mark Ziobro
Mark is a New York-based film critic and founder/editor-in-chief The Movie Buff. He has written film reviews for online websites and local independent print media. He loves cinema all his life, his favorite genres are horror, drama and indie.

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