Review: ‘She Said’ chronicles the scoop that fed a movement
Those vintage Hollywood newspaper flicks are exquisite, however today’s reporters don’t run around newsrooms yelling “Get me rewrite!” Nor do they sprint across the room shouting “Stop the presses!” over the clicking-clack of teletype machines and manual typewriters.
But that doesn’t suggest you may’t stage a interesting scene in a present day newsroom wherein humans stare at monitors, munch on takeout salads and attempt no longer to spill espresso at the keyboard. To wit: Just attempt now not succumbing to goosebumps in “She Said,” the tale of the New York Times’ initial Harvey Weinstein scoop, while the editor’s cursor sooner or later hits “Publish.” Or not gasping aloud, which I heard myself doing.
But “She Said,” a worthy entry to a movie style that consists of “Spotlight” and of course “All the President’s Men,” isn’t pretty much the electricity of journalism. It’s additionally approximately courage, from the girls who suffered sexual harassment or attack at Weinstein’s arms and came forward at non-public chance — to their careers, reputations or properly-being. It was their bravery that enabled journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey to inform a story that helped launch the extensive reckoning known as the #MeToo movement. And it’s due to ladies like them — a few well-known actresses, however ordinarily young girls looking to paintings in an industry they cherished — that Weinstein sits in a Los Angeles court docket this week, already serving a 23-yr sentence in New York, and now dealing with seven greater counts. (He’s pleaded no longer responsible).Women like Laura Madden, as an instance. The film opens with her, an keen young employee of Weinstein’s enterprise, Miramax, starting what she hopes could be an interesting new career on a film set in Ireland in 1992. Soon after, we see her jogging down a Dublin road in tears, clutching her clothes after a inn-room come upon. Some twenty years later, the older Madden (a heartbreaking Jennifer Ehle) is going on report in the Times coverage, telling the newshounds that Weinstein that day “took my voice away … simply as I changed into approximately to begin finding it.”
“She Said,” starring Carey Mulligan as a quietly intense, driven Twohey and Zoe Kazan as a perkier, extra exuberant Kantor, is essentially trustworthy to the 2019 book, launched years after the story broke. Readers will understand many conversations word-for-phrase.But director Maria Schrader and screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz had to make key cinematic selections. Among them: a way to painting Weinstein. It feels proper that we in no way see his face. He’s heard most effective in cellphone calls, except when he suggests up unannounced at the Times in a last-ditch try to charm, scare or shame the newshounds off, after which we see most effective an actor’s returned.
The choice is critical now not least for the message it sends: this tale may additionally involve Weinstein, but it is not HIS story. It’s a story of the women who delivered him to account — former employees, or actresses like Ashley Judd, a key voice in the Times article. Judd performs herself right here, and who better to explain her very own enjoy?
Also deliberate: No attack is re-enacted. We do, even though, hear the real disagreement among Weinstein and model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, recorded in a police operation. As the camera settles on a carpeted hallway of a inn — the common scene, from New York to LA to Cannes to Sundance, of Weinstein’s misdeeds — the actual Weinstein cajoles the girl to come inner his room, even for 5 minutes. “Don’t smash your friendship with me for 5 minutes,” he implores.