All London Film Festival 2022 reviews will be written by the wonderfully talented and massive film fan Brigitte Krause. You can follow her on Twitter – @TheBrigitteEdit.
I’ve always been fond of investigative journalism, good journalism in general, to be fair. So I was looking forward to seeing ‘She Said’ during this year’s London Film Festival, as much as anyone can look forward to a story that has forever changed the landscape of consent.
I still remember the days after The New York Times article was published (back in 2017) and the movement it created. The many women that spoke out against Harvey Weinstein, sharing their experiences with him over the decades, and the many horror stories that followed.
The film follows real-life New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) while they start to investigate allegations against a powerful man in Hollywood. They begin to uncover how vast and overwhelming the wrongdoing in Hollywood is as they work against all odds and a system that has continuously protected abuse, harassment and men in power above anyone else.
I went into the screening of ‘She Said’ expecting a similar approach to investigative journalism like we have seen in the past with ‘Spotlight’ and many others, and while that might be the case, I think it goes further than that.
We spend a lot of time in the daily fight against the system, whether with legal paperwork and trying to prove victim statements or chasing down other women who have worked with the disgraced film producer Weinstein in the past.
This is where I think ‘She Said’ is different from so many other investigative films because it truly, for the longest time, focuses on journalism and the mundane tasks that require a story like this one to be told.
I found Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan perfectly cast for their roles, not only because they are both working mothers, just like Kantor and Twohey, but because Kazan and Mulligan humanise the sterile journalism environment and look of the film.
It’s Kazan that stood out to me the most. Her character so clearly cares for the women and is so emotionally invested it is hard not to cry every time she faces a wall in the investigation. I’m certain we will see both actresses come up in the future Oscar race debate.
‘She Said’ takes us through a journey about the women that were brave enough to share their stories. It is a powerful film that demands to be seen by as many people as possible. I still can’t watch the trailer to this day, without evoking an emotional reaction. It changes between anger and frustration against a broken system, but it should tell you a great deal about the film’s effect on me.
Directed by: Maria Schrader
Cast: Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Samantha Morton, Jennifer Ehle, Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher
Duration: 2h 15 min