She Said

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.

  • Released: 2022-11-17
  • Runtime: 129 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Stars: Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Morton, Angela Yeoh, Tom Pelphrey, Adam Shapiro, Maren Heary, Sean Cullen, Anastasia Barzee, Keilly McQuail, Hilary Greer, Tina WongLu, Nancy Ellen Shore, Wesley Holloway, Stephen Dexter, Ruby Thomas, Emma Clare O'Connor, Brad Neilley, Stephanie Heitman, Jason Hewitt, Sujata Eyrick, Justine Colan, Steven Bitterman, Liam Edwards, Norah Feliciano, Kareemeh Odeh, Anita Sabherwal, Kelly Rian Sanson, Lauren Yaffe, George Walsh, Dalya Knapp, Maren Lord, Elle Graham
  • Director: Maria Schrader
  • RobTheWatcher - 8 January 2023
    She Said
    She Said unfortunately suffers from having a more compelling and interesting story that it's based on rather than the movie itself. The movie has decent production and quality but in large part it's very slow and boring at times. Also, aside from the facts and evidence they had on Harvey and his scandal, they choose to include things that aren't true or not proven (in typical New York Times fashion). It's important to keep in mind how much is true here and how much is fabricated and exaggerated. I would have preferred strictly facts in a movie meant to cover such an important story. This movie is not up to what I had hoped for.
  • Horst_In_Translation - 27 December 2022
    Poor man's Spotlight
    "She Said" is a pretty short title for this rather long movie as the duration here is over 130 minutes, so it crosses the two-hour mark easily, even if this includes closing credits too. This movie received some great praise and promising predictions early in the season, but turns out now with the Oscars getting closer that it is losing a lot of its steam. The perhaps most likely nominations are for screenplay and also for Carey Mulligan's performance. She got in at the Golden Globes, so there is definitely a shot that she scores another Oscar nomination. My prediction is that it won't happen as her previous one is still very recent, but then again many said she gave the best female performance of the year with that one, so we will see how things go for her this time. Her character's screen time decreases as the film goes on and for the most part she is not having a really big impact anymore, but with her presence at the start, she could also be seen as lead, even if there is no way she will get nominated for that. The one definite lead here is Zoe Kazan and it surprises me that she only got second credit, maybe because Mulligan is the bigger name and also because the film starts with the latter. But a scene towards the end is fairly telling when we have Kazan's character tear up from joy and Mulligan's is just there to comfort her and give her a hug. I still think that Kazan looks much younger than she is, so good for her. You probably would not really guess she is older than Mulligan. But both are fairly attractive. If Kazan is good enough to be a lead in a big Hollywood movie is debatable. From what I saw here, I would say she is not, but I had other problems with this film and she is definitely not one of the biggest problems. I will get to those later.

    The one thing that made this film most interesting to me was the inclusion of director Maria Schrader. I am really glad she managed the breakthrough in America, won an Emmy if I remember correctly and there are at least two films in her body of work that I adore. I mean as a director. She switched from acting to directing, even if here and there can also still be seen in front of the camera. The first film would be her movie about Stefan Zweig with Josef Hader playing the protagonist and the second film would be her elaboration on artificial intelligence and robots connected with romance. That one I adored even more and it was a pity that it did not manage the Oscar nomination in the foreign language category. Maybe the Oscars are not (yet) meant to be Schrader's stage to shine. But she is getting there, hopefully with projects superior to this one here. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are also credited as writers here and they will surely be on location if the film manages to be present during Oscar night. I am not sure if they could even be considered if the screenplay nomination happens. It is more likely that the nomination would go to Rebecca Lenkiewicz alone. She is the one who co-wrote the film "Ida" in 2013, so almost a decade ago already and the director and writer of that one was Pawel Pawlikowski. This deserves to be mentioned because the movie won the foreign language Oscar for Poland, so it is not just Schrader's transition to Hollywood here, even if Lenkiewicz is also not new to the international big screen, for example penned a Keira Knightley movie and was also in charge of the quite successful "Small Axe" television miniseries. There are definitely parallels between Schrader and Lenkiewicz and also age-wise they are not too far away from each other. Would not surprise me if we see more collaborations in the future. Lenkiewicz being the writer here is also not a surprise at all because almost all her previous projects (including "Ida") focused on women at the center of the story rather than on men. But it is also not a surprise then I could say that I did not like her film here too much because I already found "Ida" highly overrated back then.

    Now, let's get back to this one here and look at the cast: I already mentioned the two female actresses at the center of it all, but there are other familiar faces here. One would be Patricia Clarkson and I am not surprised she is part of this. Never saw any real talent in her. With Mulligan, I am maybe more disappointed. Kazan I guess simply had to take the role given the project's potential dimensions, but Mulligan could probably get in with every movie she wants these days, so poor decision from her. After reading the shallow screenplay, she should have declined the offer. If we stay with the female cast members for now, there is Jennifer Ehle that some may recognize, but this is pretty much it with the exception of Ashley Judd. Honestly, I think it is in general a bit on the cringeworthy side if actors play themselves in a full-on serious movie without comedy at all. I love watching Larry David's show and I really enjoyed seeing Nicholas Cage portray himself in a funny manner not too long ago, but Judd's turn here felt really off. So I guess I give props then to Rose McGowan with whom I don't know what she thinks about the film. I mean she agreed that her name would be mentioned I suppose, but she easily could have played herself during the phone conversation and we would only have heard her voice, not seen her, but even there she is not playing herself. Another name you will hear on numerous occasions is Gwyneth Paltrow. She is also not in this movie and of course they also had to find a way to get Lena Dunham in here, at least mention her. It almost seems a bit desperate what is said about her. But right what I expected. There are other women from the industry mentioned in this context, but no really big names. Oh and I almost forgot to say, "Charmed" rules. I am glad McGowan was part of this show.

    But now back to the movie here: I think it is an important subject we have here and this deserves a good film, also a film critical in other departments perhaps, but the outcome was so shallow and superficial that it was really a missed opportunity. There were so many scenes and segments that did almost nothing for me and felt with either no connection to the subject at hand or with a poorly-executed connection. I don't blame Schrader. Nobody could have turned this screenplay into a quality film. I will just mention a few moments: There are two examples of how characters from the good side are harassed. One received feces in the mail, another is slightly worried when a big black car drives slowly behind her. This was really the epitome of a student movie. Another problem is that these scenes include only one person, no witnesses. This means they perfectly could have been added for cheap thrills or if they are supposed to be true, then these moments could just have been invented by the characters. This is the problem with this movie. There is no critical take on anything about it either. The characters are either completely good or bad. Okay, there are shades in-between here and there with a lawyer who only does his job or the guy they visit at his home when his wife wonders what is going on or the woman on the phone who gives a hint to the protagonist caller, but these characters have one minute of screen time or we only hear their voices. I realize I have not even talked about the male cast members. There's not too many anyway. Nobody who is even remotely close to being lead. Weinstein is not shown in this film as a character, we only hear his voice during a few phone conversations. Andre Braugher is in this film and that is nice because I like him on his show (that ended by now) and I do not always like the show, but he is always good there, so I found it really disappointing how he plays such a boring character here that has absolutely nothing to offer story-wise. He has much more talent than that. Another actor in here is Zach Grenier. He always has great recognition value, even if I was wrong apparently about remembering him from "Dark Angel", one of my favorite television series ever.

    As for the males in this movie, this is really the epitome of poor writing. Just look at the partners of the two female protagonists. They are basically depicted as the way men/husbands should be. Absolutely nothing characters, boring and almost in existence only to be there when their wives need them. This is really the equally wrong reaction to the (alleged) lack of interesting female characters in Hollywood, especially older ones. They tried to hide it by including a brief elaboration on one of the two guys' jobs, but it did not change a thing. Finally, a few words on Weinstein: I trust the court there to have made the right decision and there is no denying he did some despicable acts, but what the film tells us here about what he did, that he asked people to massage him, that he was suddenly naked or wearing a bathing gown etc. Was creepy, but not a crime. We also have women state that they agreed to have sex with him, even if they just let it happen. That does not make his actions right, but there is a difference between what he did and forcing somebody to have sex while you put a knife at their throat or gun to their head. I guess nobody will complain about the gigantic prison sentence he got for his actions, so we can also discuss this from the other side I guess. Of course, making sure that women who reject him find no work anymore at all is as despicable as it gets. What was equally despicable here was the focus on Donald Trump at the start. Needless to say that he was not found guilty of anything, but the film acts as if he was. No mention of Stormy Daniels either where we can now say her accusations against President were a full-on smear campaign. It is definitely necessary to also give fair treatment to males in these situations. This film does not, therefore you should not give it a watch. One thing you should never forget is that the ones who oppose the bad guys are not automatically the good guys.