Review: 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 ignite a movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood.
Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Patricia Clarkso, Samantha Morton & Jennifer Ehle.
She Said is important, whether it’s raising awareness of women’s treatment in workplaces, or the corruption of Hollywood & a Harvey Weinstein’s reign. It’s an important reminder that this is still happening to this day and countless women still live in fear of men in power that have abused them. Its narrative is told wonderfully through tremendous performances and stellar screenplay more so over its rather simple yet effective directing, which I do believe is one of its only flaws.
Director Maria Schrader allows all actors to control each scene & relies on the performances and writing to keep audiences engaged, which may be an issue for some as certain scenes can become repetitive in a visual sense. Despite being consistently engaging, I would have preferred the directing to become more tight & suffocating to represent the feeling of suffocation that many of these women felt. It’s well filmed coverage that worked for most scenes, yet a change is tone would have benefitted the audience reaction better. A big help to the the emotions conveyed is Nicholas Britell’s powerful score that was it can’t help but feel emotionally affected by it, everlasting each sequence to intense heights.
Harvey’s control over Hollywood and the media in general was frightening and we see this through the very subtle subtext of each conversation between characters. They chuckle, but the dialogue contrasts it, becoming painfully obvious of the restriction each person is given due to Harvey’s control. This, of course is a testament to the entire cast’s performances and the scripts quick but to the point sequences. The pacing is fast and it gets going very early on which took me back a little as it wasn’t an expectation I had coming into the film, but as it went on, I became used to it and for the most part it worked.
By the 3rd act, the weight built over the entire runtime is at its height and nearly brought me to tears during its final minutes. It’s powerful and one of the hardest, yet important viewings of the year that I urge everyone to see and push forward. Carey Mulligan is terrific as we’ve come to expect, but Zoe Kazan is my favourite here. While not as tight in directing compared to past biography films such as Spotlight. She Said is just as, if not more powerful.