She Said Review – Compelling, A Testament to Investigative Journalism

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She Said, from Universal Pictures, presents the story two New York Times investigative journalists who worked to expose Harvey Weinstein who, for decades, was known to sexually assault, rape and then destroy anyone who challenged the status quo.

The film opens with New York Times Assistant Managing Editor Rebecca Corbett, played by Patricia Clarkson, hold a staff meeting explaining that sexual harassment is pervasive and challenges her team to go after the entire system.

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As the investigative reporter’s begin tapping their contacts for any information, Jodi Kantor, played by Zoe Kazan, discovers information on Hollywood’s simmering cauldron of sexual violence, rape, sexual harassment which had become a systemic system, operating for decades and an inner connectivity of publicists, studio execs and others who enabled and cover the crimes.

With the blessing of Corbett, Kantor begins working the story and discovers Rose McGowen, a real character who had been vocal on being sexually assaulted by then Miramax co-owner and legendary producer Harvey Weinstein.

As Weinstein’s name became the focal point the team, and The Times, understood they would need victim’s who already been beaten down, silenced, brutalized, had career opportunities disintegrate by the system who enabled him, to go on the record and confront the possibility of the same brutalization, by the same system which deemed their allegations as insignificant which they were initially made.

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As the evidence begins to mount and the story is becoming shockingly vast, covering decades of women making the same allegations, Kantor, realizes she needs help and reaches out to Megan Twohey, played by Carey Mulligan, who had been exposing at the time 2016 GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for his misogynistic behavior and allegations of sexual assault.

Suddenly the two are working together as the story snowballs and many actresses, publicists, assistants and really anyone within proximity to Weinstein recounted similar stories, exactness of memories seared in their minds, the vulgarity of his words, the brutality of his actions, the PTSD which sexual assault victims confront, the counter-offensive launched which defamed reputations, fear and terror used to silence victims and of course the blanket payouts.

Throughout the audience also understand the reporters were in the middle of life, trying to balance family responsibilities, and in the normalcy of their own lives, growing families, and emotional twists and turns.

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Even as the story begins to build, Dean Baquet, Executive Editor at The New York Times, played by Andre Braugher, continued to explain even with all the sources, the facts, the details, the corroboration, if they could not get an on the record source, they didn’t have the story.

Then the women began to dig in, they were in the trenches and the story was there and it was up to them to find one source who would go on the record. With each attempt to present a final version, they would be sent back to massage and work their contacts. To gather more facts, Kantor traveled to Europe to secure information on a rape at the Venice Film festival, and to Silicon Valley to confirm, anywhere to attempt to persuade one person to be the on the record source.

She Said, based on the true story behind how the New York Times broke the story that shattered decades of silence about sexual assault in Hollywood, elevates expectation for women who have endured sexual violence, especially those at the hands of well-known affluent or established predators, that one day possibly if justice happened for one, possibly one day justice will happen for all.

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An inspiring story about women who refused to be remain victims, who gathered the courage to face down the demons that enslaved them to silence and fight back and seek justice. The film is compelling, an emotional journey, especially for the millions of women who are sexually assaulted and never see the inside of a courtroom.

Having the opportunity to attend the AFI Film Festival Premiere of She Said, the film was interrupted repeatedly with applause during the moments when finally, after diligent effort by the reporter’s resulted in hard won victories.

She Said is as important as All The President’s Men to the investigative reporting profession. The film is described as “A testament to the incalculable importance of investigative journalism, She Said details the journey of reporters and editors engaged in the unrelenting pursuit of the truth and highlights the courage of survivors and witnesses who chose to come forward to stop an accused serial predator from committing further harm. Together, their commitment and fortitude sparked a global conversation, helped propel the #MeToo movement, and fueled a reckoning of the system that had enabled him.”

As the system grossly fails the victim, ensuring justice becomes the burden of the victim. If they can carry the burden long enough, they may have a chance at justice. The film is also a reminder of the power of the individual who will not be deterred, armed only with determination to secure justice and force a change.

She Said opens in theaters November 18, 2022. See it.


Country: USA.

Language: English.

Runtime: 128minutes.

Release date: November 18, 2022.

Director: Maria Schrader.

Producer: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner.

Writer:  Rebecca Lenkiewicz, based on the New York Times investigation by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey and Rebecca Corbett and the book "She Said" by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.    

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, with Samantha Morton and Ashley Judd.

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