It’s no surprise that every few years or so, a movie about movies becomes a serious contender for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
People in the film industry love stories about the making of films.
Similarly, journalists like films based on journalism.
“All the President’s Men” — the 1976 drama about the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story — will forever be a favorite of many journos.
For the person typing these words, this is 2015’s “Spotlight,” a dramatization of the Boston Globe investigative team’s Pulitzer Prize-winning efforts to shed light on widespread sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and the church’s efforts to cover it up. It’s as close to perfection as movies go.
So what we did last week was the possibility that the drama “She Said” by movie industry giant Harvey Weinstein was in theaters last week when two New York Times reporters tried to report on alleged sexual misconduct — and paid to keep the victims quiet. ? Without question.
However, many elements of this excellent development of journalist Megan Toohey and Jodi Kantor’s dog work are worthy of praise, from their respective performances by Carey Mulligan and Joe Kazan to director Maria’s quick-but-hurried pace. Shredder for screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s purposeful storytelling.
Based on Toohey and Kantor’s best-selling book, “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement,” the film introduces us to a pregnant Megan in 2016, as she reports on her sexual harassment claims against then-presidential candidate Donald. Jay Trump.
Months later, Trump is elected, and Megan is suffering from more than just a case of postpartum depression.
Meanwhile, Jodie, the mother of two young girls, has a dig at Weinstein. She is trying to talk to the actress and other women who worked for her who may have been abused by an incredibly powerful man.
After returning to her job, Megan is convinced to team up with the pair by then assistant managing editor Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson), who will most closely oversee the work on the story.
And so we watch as Megan and Jody follow the lead and what appears to be a dead end. And they are desperate for actresses like Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd – who portray themselves in the film – as well as lesser-known women to go on the record about their experiences with Weinstein.
But Weinstein is a huge figure both physically and figuratively, the creator of acclaimed films including “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting” and winner of multiple Oscars, and won’t go down easily. (Weinstein is heard in an actual recording made by a woman and filmed by Mike Houston in a phone call and from an off-angle.)
Also, Times reporters have faced competition for the story from Ronan Farrow, a writer working for The New Yorker, which published his piece in October 2017 days after the Times article.
As portrayed by Kazan (“The Plot Against America,” “The Big Sick”), Jody shows a lot of empathy, listening to the alleged victims with a face that shows understanding and immense care.
In the hands of Mulligan (“Promising Young Women,” “Education”), Megan is a bit more intense, showing an ability to be tough with male sources when she wants information from them. (And you can’t help but cheer a moment in which he absolutely tears up a man at a bar who won’t leave Jody, Rebecca, and him alone as they try to wrap their heads around the story. Read Room, friends.)
Along with Clarkson (“The Station Agent”), solid supporting work is launched by Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) as then-New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet; Samantha Morton (“In America”), as former Miramex employee Zelda Perkins; And in particular, Jennifer Ehle (“Zero Dark Thirty”), as fellow Miramax employee Laura Madden, who is dealing with a personal crisis at the same time the journalists are trying to bring up a traumatic time in her past.
According to its production notes, the film was the first feature of its size to be shot inside an actual Times newsroom, and access to the building — during the novel coronavirus pandemic, when many employees were working remotely — provided genuine authenticity. She said.” And while we don’t see these reporters doing actual work at their desks, we can contend with the fact that they conduct all their calls and interviews on the go, or at least in a window or in a breakroom, which gives a little “she said” feel. Sometimes Like an episode of “Law & Order” — there’s no denying Shredder (“I’m Your Man,” “Unorthodox”) gives it the energy it needs.
And it’s a movie made up entirely of scenes of people talking, helping Lenkiewicz’s dialogue crack without ever sounding over-the-top. You won’t find any Oscar-bait speeches here.
Does “She Said” rise to the heights of “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight.” From here, no, but it comes pretty close.
Regardless, it tells an important story, one that gave voice to women who deserved to be heard and that helped propel the #MeToo movement forward.
And as “Spotlight” says, it’s not just about the abuser — Weinstein has been convicted of third-degree rape and criminal sexual act in New York and is on trial for rape in Los Angeles — but about a system. which has allowed abuse.
“She Said” is rated: R for language and descriptions of sexual abuse.
Runtime: 2 hours, 15 minutes.