Why the Harvey Weinstein movie doesn’t show Harvey Weinstein. | Jobi Cool

Both sides’ passions in journalism have often been abused by bad actors, however she said Deliberately omits “he said” half of the injurious analogy. Jodi Kantor and Megan Toohey’s book, which describes the process of reporting the New York Times stories on Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct that fueled the #MeToo movement, includes the necessary note that “Weinstein continues to deny all allegations of non-consensual sex.” But the film, adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and directed by Maria Schrader, doesn’t even give him the opportunity to reject that dismissal. Indeed, although the film is built around Weinstein and his crimes, he is never fully present, sometimes seen and sometimes heard but never both at once. On the phone, he’s his famously intimidating self, though Toohey (Carey Mulligan) and Kantor (Joe Kazan) don’t let him fizzle, and their boss, Dean Baquette (Andre Braugher), who’s been dealing with Weinstein for years, says, “Bye, Harvey. .” And when Weinstein does appear in person, eventually dragged into a Times conference room to give proforma responses to reporters’ questions, we glimpse him only among a flotilla of lawyers, and the actual interview session is quiet and brief. The other side of the glass.

No plum roles for an actor playing Harvey Weinstein, no grotesque villainy for a character actor to sink his teeth into like John Lithgow’s Roger Ailes. Bombshell.

That decomposed presentation is free she said From repeating Weinstein’s on-the-record denials and his warm declarations of remorse. (Kontor and Toohey’s original article includes Weinstein’s statement, which reads in part, “Although I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”) But it also removes him from the action entirely. As a character. No plum role for the actor playing Harvey, no quirky villain for the character actor John Lithgow sank his teeth into as Roger Ailes. Bombshell. “He took a lot of oxygen when he was in society,” Lenkiewicz explained when I asked him about the decision this week. “I don’t want to imagine him in my mind, in any scenes.”

What we see instead are the women who brought him down, the victims who, with the help of Kantor and Toohey, muster the courage to speak out against the powerful and vindictive man who attacked and traumatized them. As Zelda Perkins, who accused Weinstein of trying to rape a Miramax colleague and was then silenced in fear of an NDA, Samantha Morton held the screen. she said For a few minutes, the shock Perkins had experienced — both Weinstein’s behavior and the swift finality the system had closed in around him — was etched in lines on his face. There are flashbacks to the women’s lives, but never to the moment of their attack, because the movie doesn’t assume we need to imagine it to believe them. All we have to do is listen.

It was often said that Harvey Weinstein’s behavior in the film industry was an open secret, a phrase that has been used to cover many understandings: some saw him as a bully, some as a leech or a philanderer, but mostly they chose not to. For everyone to see, especially when his behavior worked in their favor – when he wasn’t just a bully but their threat So when Asia Argento cast Weinstein in her film The Scarlet Diva, she wanted to show him first. Argento’s 2000 film, in which he played an actress modeled on himself, was clearly autobiographical but also had height and style, so the scene in which an oil filmmaker named Barry Parr, played by actor Joe Coleman, takes him to his hotel room. . , asks for a massage, and then tries to rape her so it could be a composite, or even a metaphor. (Coleman doesn’t look or sound particularly like Weinstein, and Argento said she chose him for the delicate scene because he was her “best friend.”) When I saw Argento present the film at the Toronto Film Festival, he openly recognized a . Among its characters, a once-hopeful writer turned heroin addict, based on director Leos Carax, but Weinstein’s name never comes up. (A New York Times review by A.O. Scott identified the character as “a porcine American filmmaker.”) But in Argento’s published article alleging Weinstein sexually assaulted him, he said some women who saw the film did so immediately. Weinstein is known for it. She also name-dropped the character to Gus Van Sant and Robert De Niro, both of whom made movies for Miramax during the Weinstein era, to help further connect the dots.

Weinstein’s character in Kitty Green’s 2019 movie assistant Even though we never fully see him on camera and he’s only known as “The Boss”, he’s very recognizable. By then, many stories of Weinstein’s abuse had already come out in the open, and Green interviewed “maybe a hundred people” in the industry, starting with Weinstein’s former employees, about their experiences to inform his script. But although Green’s previous experience was as a documentary filmmaker, there’s nothing authentic about his approach here. Drawing inspiration from Chantal Akerman’s masterpiece Gene Dillman, Green fixes on the microscopic details of the daily hardships endured by the title character, played by Julia Garner. Jane starts her day at the office pre-dawn, collecting a pair of cocktail glasses from her boss’s desk and swiping on an invisible blemish on her office sofa. The presence of the master is so great that there is no need to mention him by name. When she says “I’ve got it for you,” everyone knows who she means.

There’s a constant sense of tension in Jane’s office, where even the grind of the copy machine sounds ominous and the men who share the space with Jane talk loudly across the room when she’s on a sensitive call. They all fear the boss, and Jane’s male colleagues have enough experience to help her draft an apology letter when she gets angry at him for some minor infraction. But you can also tell they take their cues from him, exploiting any hint of weakness, while Jane, in a pale pink turtleneck, looks like a crab without its shell. However, she manages to stand up to him, refusing to lie to his wife about why her credit card stopped working, and finally reporting his behavior to an HR representative. SuccessionMatthew Macfadyen. But instead of trying to make things right, McFadyen’s character rushes into damage control: Jane sure She does what she sees, and does really Want to risk pursuing a complaint if he doesn’t? (The scene so accurately depicts that HR representatives can act as enablers that it is among many clips. assistant (Used in sexual harassment training by the NYC Commission on Human Rights.)

The boss isn’t Harvey Weinstein, in part because Green didn’t want to leave viewers with the impression that systemic abuse can be embodied by one person, or that it ends with his convictions. But it was also, she explained, because “the bad guys got enough screen time.” Still, when she hired an actor to voice Bose, the actor told her, “Oh, I know it’s a guy.” And when he yells at Jane on the phone or yells like he’s going through the office walls, you know who he is, too.

Harvey Weinstein has been the subject of books, articles, criminal and civil proceedings, even several documentaries. Maybe we don’t need him in the story. There’s something poetic about the fact that it’s an awards-season movie she said, there is no room for a man who built his career by bending Oscar voters to his will. His name will not be on anyone’s ballot, even as an A Character.

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