The movement of female empowerment that has come to be known as “Me Too” has been around long enough now that it has begun to settle into the mainstream of society. And conversations about abuse have turned into how the movement has gone too far, ruined men’s careers, or just made it difficult for men and women to approach each other. All of these are genuine by-products of the movement and there is no doubt that there have been negative repercussions, but it is important to remember why this whole shift begun in the first place and put it into perspective.
Before the “Me Too” movement, even rich and powerful women could be abused, raped, sexually harassed, or pressured into silence because of powerful men. This was a culture that was so pervasive that the early years of the movement felt like they were filled with one or two new allegations a day. And today there are so many faces that used to be regulars on our televisions and are now lucky to have a job anywhere. These were men that harmed or ruined women’s lives for years or sometimes decades.
‘She Said’ chronicles the most prevalent of these scandals and the one that truly started the movement to help women speak up. Of course, this was Harvey Weinstein and his sexual harassment or assault of possibly over 80 women in his career as a movie producer. The man is on trial still to this day. But how did we get to the point where a powerful man like Harvey Weinstein could be sitting behind bars?
That’s the question that director Maria Schrader and writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz really want to answer with this expertly crafted film. And they use the wonderful performances of Carey Mulligan and Zoey Kazan to guide you through this important story with the journalistic passion needed to get something done. This could have easily gotten bogged down in the procedural aspects of the story, but these ladies committed performances do not let that happen.
Instead, Mulligan and Kazan make journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor into emotional heroes in search of the truth. And while the editing skims over some pertinent character development, these actors make up for it with committed performances. You will root for them early and often through the films 128 minute run time.
Character development is the only thing in the story that gets cut a bit short. Everything else is expertly cut to make sure we comprehend each little fact of this story. And some of the more difficult sexual situations are handled with documentary style care to help evoke the proper emotion over pure shock.
Evoking great news procedurals like ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘Spotlight’, ‘She Said’ is a thought provoking story of journalistic integrity in the face of power. With all the partisanship and division in this country, it can be easy to forget that journalists are out there working hard to inform us of the truth. This film shows that sometimes that truth can fundamentally change the world.
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