The #MeToo movement saw victims of sexual harassment and assault finding the strength they needed to come forward with their own horrific experiences and the offenders suddenly desperate to maintain the power they assumed they could never lose. A key moment that led to this monumental cultural shift was a New York Times article from 2017 that exposed the disturbing accusations against movie producer -- and now convicted sex offender -- Harvey Weinstein.
The story of the painstaking research that went into the groundbreaking exposé was chronicled in a book by the reporters who penned it – Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor – called “She Said,” which has inspired a new movie of the same name, which is coming to AMC Theatres on Friday, November 11, 2022. Emmy-winning director Maria Schrader’s riveting biographical drama has been selected as an AMC Artisan Film and the following is a rundown of why we believe it is a must-see.
Pushes Boundaries And Sparks Conversation
Discussions regarding sexual harassment in the work place or even in casual situations are certainly nothing new and are still permeating the cultural landscape to this day. SHE SAID is the kind of movie that encourages conversations about the issue and does so, in particular, by never shying away from the most harrowing details involved with the Harvey Weinstein case.
SHE SAID is about more than the disgraced Hollywood executive, however. The film also sheds light on other important and sometimes overlooked topics, such postpartum depression, corporations offering financial compensation to avoid scandals, or the sacrifices that many women make for the sake of their careers, especially as public figures.
Brings A Unique Vision And Perspective
The way that SHE SAID stands out from other films dealing with similarly serious topics – or films about journalism – is the way it depicts harrowing stories involved with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. It presents the details very matter-of-factly and tastefully, without resorting to anything that could be deemed exploitative.
The script allows the women involved to tell their stories and, at one point, even plays an actual recording released by The New Yorker of an NYPD sting operation that caught Weinstein attempting to provoke a young model into joining him in his hotel room. That sequence and other moments from the film in which victims share their experiences in interviews are accompanied, not by direct reenactments, but stagnant shots of where the actual events took place. Even then, it does not make what these women went through any easier to hear.
Unites An Acclaimed Cast
With how delicate the topics that SHE SAID explores are, the material is in the very good hands of an extremely talented ensemble. Two-time Academy AwardⓇ nominee Carey Mulligan – first for AN EDUCATION from 2010 and most recently for 2020’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN – leads the cast alongside Zoe Kazan of THE BIG SICK fame as Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, respectively. They pour their hearts and souls into their performances as the intrepid reporters who stop at nothing to let the truth be heard, nearly putting their personal lives on hold and their careers on the line in the process.
Fellow OscarⓇ nominee Patricia Clarkson – for PIECES OF APRIL – is also brilliant as New York Times assistant managing editor Rebecca Corbett, who oversaw Twohey and Kantor’s investigation along with assistant masthead editor Dean Baquet, played by two-time Emmy-winner Andre Braugher. Jennifer Ehle also gives one of the film’s most heartbreaking performances as Laura Madden – the first woman to go on record about her experience with Weinstein – and Samantha Morton as Zelda Perkins, who bore witness to Weinstein’s behavior while working for Miramax as his assistant.
Stretches Actors Outside Their Comfort Zones
It is probably safe to say that every member of the SHE SAID cast is going beyond their comfort zone to tackle such discomforting subject matter. However, there are two that stand out in particular.
For one, Ashley Judd portrays herself in the film, reenacting her own interactions with Jodi Kantor before deciding to become the first actor to go public about her encounters with Weinstein – a time in her career that we cannot imagine was easy to relive. There is also an early scene before the story sets its sights on the Weinstein case when Megan Twohey – as she is developing a story about sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump – receives a phone call from the presidential candidate himself. Providing his voice is “Saturday Night Live” star James Austin Johnson, taking his spot-on impersonation in a more refreshingly earnest direction than seen on the long-running, sketch comedy series.
Features A Compelling Score
No musical accompaniment would have been required to help the subject matter in SHE SAID maintain its intensity. Nonetheless, the film does benefit strongly from the talent of Nicholas Britell.
The composer – previously known for his Oscar-nominated work on MOONLIGHT, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK and DON’T LOOK UP – crafts a moving score that is predominantly piano and cello-based. Despite its simplicity, it keeps the tension tight and the drama riveting, even in the film’s quietest moments.
In recent years, we have seen movies like Steven Spielberg’s THE POST from 2017 or 2015’s SPOTLIGHT join the likes of ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN or GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK among the ranks of the most powerful films about journalism. SHE SAID easily earns itself a spot – and the honor of being an AMC Artisan Film – for its bold and honest depiction of a traumatizing topic, as portrayed by a top-notch cast and accompanied by a perfect score to match. See it at your favorite AMC Theatre location starting November 11.