Harvey Weinstein was one of the most famous producers in Hollywood. His production company Miramax, churned out quality films though the 90s and early 2000s, including Clerks, Pulp Fiction, Emma, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Dogma, and Scream. He also helped to kickstart the careers of distinguished actors and directors such as Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith.
He is, unfortunately, also one of Hollywood’s infamous sexual abusers. In 2017 a number of his crimes were revealed in a New York Times exposé written by Jodi Cantor and Megan Twohey. It turned out that Weinstein had harassed and abused over 80 women over a period of at least 30 years. The scandal surrounding him gave rise to the Me-Too movement that focused societal anger against sexual abuse, sexual harassment and rape culture. It led to workplace and legal reforms, and he is currently serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault. His downfall influenced North American culture in the 21st century so profoundly that it was fertile ground for a Hollywood movie.
She Said is based on the 2019 book of the same name. It deals with the trials and tribulations of authors Cantor and Twohey as they attempt to investigate the sex crimes committed by Miramax’s most powerful executive and the people around him who tried to shut them up.
This is a good movie. It features excellent performances from Carey Mulligan (A Promising Young Woman, Drive, An Education) as Megan Twohey, and Zoey Kazan (Ruby Sparks, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) as Jodi Cantor. Also featured in the cast are Patricia Clarkson (Cairo Time, the Station Agent) as Rebecca Corbett, the woman who, at the time of Weinstein investigation, was an editor at the New York Times and Andre Braugher (Brooklyn 99, City of Angels) as Dean Baquet, the editor and chief of the New York Times from May 2014 to June 2022.
She Said is directed well by Maria Schrader, best known for directing episodes of Unorthodox, and it has a wonderful script by Rebecca Lenkiewicz who is best known for writing the films Ida, Disobedience and Collette.
The film was released in 2022 to generally positive reviews from critics who praised the screenplay and the performances of Kazan and Mulligan. Sadly, it only made $12.9 million against a $32 million budget. As great as this movie is, I am uncertain as to whether the movie-going public really wants to see a two-hour film that revolves around journalists in conference rooms talking about sexual violence in the 2020s, a decade which has so far brought us COVID, inflation, threatened climate disaster and a war in eastern Europe. Unfortunately, in this time of great darkness, many film goers crave escapism, not reality. They want fast-paced action, flare and snappy one-liners. They want Thor: Love and Thunder, not Spotlight.
Yours truly is absolutely the exception. I highly recommend this film, and I hope that you watch it.
Two thumbs up! You will not be disappointed!