“New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor break one of the most important stories in a generation — a story that helped launch the #MeToo movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood.”

Director: Maria Schrader
Writers: Jodi Kantor, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Megan Twohey
Staring: Carey Mulligan, Samanta Morton, Zoe Kazan, Tom Pelphrey
Release Date: November 18, 2022
IMDB

There is a ton of pressure on this movie.

She Said (2022) is the story of New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and their journey to tell the stories of depravities surrounding Harvey Weinstein (Mike Houston – listed as uncredited). This is the story that sparked the #MeToo movement and let to an outspoken movement to illuminate the dark shadows of depravity that was hidden in Hollywood and American culture.

I don’t think this is trailer is good. It makes me scared for the movie.

This trailers main focus is on the reporters, and most notably Jodi Kantor. From this trailer, I do not get the sense that this movie is about the story of women being mentally and physically tormented.

This is a delicate dance that needs to be played by director Maria Schrader and the writing crew. How do you make the story the focal point but also allow for a bit of spotlight to fall on the reporters as well? For excellent examples, you don’t need to look too far back. Spotlight (2015) is the best made journalism movie of the 21st century. It is damn near perfect. Everyone in that movie is a piece to the puzzle, and the picture on the box is the story that they put together.

If you want an example of two reporters coming together to write an important story, you have All The President’s Men (1976). That journalistic thriller excels in the technical way the film was made. The sounds of the typewriters, the long takes in the editing room, the time-spanning story and the massive pull-away in the library.

So in order for She Said to work, if it is going to be focused more on the reporters itself and not the investigation, it is going to need to rely heavily on Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan. I’ll say this, I am not worried about Mulligan one bit. She has earned my trust. A two-time Academy Award winner has earned my trust. Kazan on the other hand, she is the the pivotal role. Her performance is going to make She Said work, or not. What scares me is the conversation Twohey and Kantor when asking if they wanted to take on this story, and the way that Kazan says “No” with the high-inflection. It just seems like the actors are on two different tiers. Mulligan knows how to do it, and Kazan is learning how too.

I mean this with true sincerity. I want Kazan to knock my socks off. I really do. If She Said turns out to be like Bombshell (2019) where the leading women carried the movie and made it immensely watchable, I will be the movies biggest fan. I loved Bombshell, and Spotlight and All The President’s Men are two of my all-time favorites. It is a lot to live up to and the stakes of this story call for everyone involved with She Said to raise their talents. If they can reach the new benchmark, then we are in for something special.

The best part of this trailer comes when Twohey is talking about the payouts Harvey Weinstein arranged and Mrs. Schmidt (Hilary Greer) questions her husband as to what payouts. Reinforcing my narrative; this is a development in the story and a development in the non-reporter characters. It shows how the silencing of the abuse is hidden even at home. It shows how secretive the story is to those directly planted in it.

Harvey Weinstein is on my mind because just recently I watched the Hulu original documentary Untouchable (2019). That documentary highlighted aspects of the story I did not know, and I want to know more about it. I don’t need to know more about the NY Times reports. They deserve all the respect they have garnered, but their journey is not nearly as important as the story that they reported.

She Said comes to theaters on November 18th.


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