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‘She Said’ movie review: the story behind the reporters who exposed Harvey Weinstein

“She Said” captures the upsetting true story behind the sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein throughout his decades-long reign in Hollywood. The movie focuses on the two powerful female journalists that exposed him and ignited the “Me Too” movement. 

Although I love movies based on true stories, especially those as impactful as the one in “She Said,” I was skeptical at how quickly the movie was produced. After all, the Weinstein scandal didn’t happen very long ago. While walking into the theater, I wondered if the movie I was about to see was going to be just another mediocre installment of the media-to-movie pipeline. 

Although the story is powerful, “She Said” doesn’t add much to what is already known about the Weinstein scandal. Reenacted recordings of Weinstein and testimonials of the real victims help bring the story to life. However, there’s not enough grime to make the story as impactful as it truly was.

From left, Zelda Perkins (Samantha Morton) gives Kantor (Zoe Kazan) her settlement contract from Weinstein via Universal Pictures

What truly makes “She Said” are Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan’s performances. Mulligan, who is no stranger to playing elaborate female characters, takes on the role of The New York Times reporter Megan Twohey. In the movie, Twohey is initially investigating Donald Trump’s sexual harassment allegations amid his 2016 presidential campaign.

After taking maternity leave, Megan joins fellow reporter Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), in investigating recent allegations of sexual harassment against powerful movie producer Harvey Weinstein. These claims come from actresses Rose McGowan and Ashely Judd, who plays herself in the movie. The allegations lead to a growing investigation with victims’ upsetting accounts of Weinstein’s sexual abuse.

Kazan (left) and Mulligan (right) via Universal Pictures

With Twohey having a dominant personality while Kantor is more gentle, the two leads compliment each other well. Twohey’s height becomes somewhat of a running joke in the movie as it makes her appear more intimidating than Kantor. Both women are wives and mothers and their time at home takes up a portion of the movie. This highlights their dedication to exposing Weinstein even when they’re outside of the office. 

(from right) Kantor, in her regular skirt and pastel clothing, Twohey, in her signature blazer and dark skinny jeans combo, and Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson). via Universal Pictures

“She Said” effectively balances the story of the investigation and the stories of the victims. Rather than focusing solely on the reporters, the film gives a voice to the women affected by Weinstein’s hideous acts. With superb casting of actors who resemble their real-life counterparts, the movie successfully retells one of Hollywood’s biggest scandals.