CINEMA

SHE SAID (2022)

MPAA: R
Release Date: 11/18/22
[Cinemas]
Genre: Drama/History

Studio: Universal Pictures

"New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor break one of the most important stories in a generation - a story that helped ignite a movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood."

OUR MOVIE REVIEW:

It might seem almost too recent to start making a movie about the Harvey Weinstein case and the exposé piece from the New York Times about the sexual assault that’s in Hollywood, but the movement kicked off exactly five years ago now, and it makes sense to create a movie about the case in this time period. It’s an incredibly important piece, and the story about the article itself is enough to keep anyone entertained. However, the film can sometimes feel a little bit too self indulgent, and lacks a really clear narrative behind both the story itself, and the women who are writing it.

 

It seems almost contradictory that Hollywood has decided to make a movie about how they “defeated the sexual assault in Hollywood from Harvey Weinstein” when so many people in fact were complicit with what happened for so many years. The women who did speak out or try to call attention to it were often punished, with their careers suffering heavily because of it. The film can come off as a bit hypocritical seeing as how self-congradulatory it is, when many producers, Brad Pitt included, did nothing to try to break this cycle while it was happening. Pitt has recently been facing his own abuse allegations from his former partner Angelina Jolie, who recently filed for divorce from Pitt. The tone the movie is trying to approach and the real life behind the scenes are completely at adds with one another, and while it’s incredible to watch the article that this film centers around being shaped, it’s hard to take it to heart knowing what’s happening opposed to it in real life.

 

The approach the film takes to journalism and the creation of the piece as well almost feels a bit too realistic, while taking out any kind of contextualizing details that make it hard to understand where the story is, or what’s going on. The entire film felt like “discover - follow up” over and over again. I understand that’s how journalism works, by just building different interviews and evidence and inquiries. But the fact that it was hard to understand exactly at what point in time these writers were at, or how far along they were in this piece made the entire film just feel like small vignettes strung together, leaving me wondering when or if they were ever going to be done. Near the end of the film, there’s suddenly a shift to “we need to publish” soon that’s almost jarring, because I didn’t even know they were close to being done with this article. I also had trouble understanding what exactly made them close to done. Why after so many pieces of evidence had been discovered did they need to publish NOW? What was stopping them from publishing sooner? What’s stopping them from digging in deeper and trying to find more pieces of evidence? It was difficult to understand, and I think that really comes from the near complete lack of any kind of three act structure to the film, and inherently felt like there was no guiding narrative throughout, but instead a sudden and abrupt end that almost felt unjustified.

 

If you know the exposé article about Harvey Weinstein, you know what a gripping read it is, and it’s justified as to why it completely changed the way Hollywood operates. That itself is just reason enough to see this film, and become engrossed with the article as you follow along the two women who are writing it. The film itself almost feels like a piece of journalism, in a sense cementing what was happening in the popular culture at the time, like a time capsule piece that people can look back on to better understand the public zeitgeist. However, if you’re looking for a piece of media that has deeply developed characters, and a story that will make you feel like you understand the journey these writers have been on, this might be a bit of a more difficult watch for you.

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OUR VERDICT: