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LFF 2022 Review: She Said is the Best of Journalism Movies

There’s this part of All the President’s Men that stays with me. Woodward and Bernstein doorstop a woman in need of answers. Terrified, voice strained, she begs “Please leave before they see you,” and closes the door.

The scene hits home on how dangerous whistleblowing can be. She Said a riveting drama harnessing the emotional resonance of that one scene. Because that danger is still prescient.

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From a screenplay adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Disobedience), Maria Schrader (I’m Your Man) delivers a stunning issues movie in She Said. The film also clears the hurdle all investigative movies must; ensuring that a story about dogged toil feels cinematic and compelling.

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play New York Times journalists Megan Twoey and Jodi Kantor. She Said chronicles their investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s many wrongdoings. It’s not the easiest of subject matters. The Miramax founder’s decades long abuse of actresses and assistants is often hinted at, and detailed. The film balances a painstaking investigation with care, hitting home without sensationalising. there’s clearly an objective to enable the survivors – not the abusers – to dictate this true story. And this isn’t just a film about events. It’s about how abuse impacts individuals long after it has happened, and how structures allow abusers to thrive.

Schrader somehow also makes room for insight into Kantor and Twoey’s lives in She Said. We see their private opinions and sacrifices and marvel at their restraint in pursuit of truth. The film manages to maintain intensity throughout and bring in multiple characters as the writers turn detectives. It is heart-wrenching not maudlin, dynamic not melodramatic. With great supporting work from Patricia Clarkson, Jennifer Ehle and Andre Braugher She Said is not exactly a feel-good movie, but there’s something life-affirming about justice actually.

To call it All the President’s Women wouldn’t do She Said justice. It’s just as good and just as important. I said so.

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