Are we watching or not? She said, the film on the Weinstein affair | VL Media

Relentless investigation, collection of evidence and vibrant testimonies, the new film by Maria Shrader shines a light on the journalists of the Weinstein affair

What’s this She said ? New York, October 2017. Two journalists from the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, begin an investigation implicating the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, for harassment and sexual assault. The roles are played by actresses Zoé Kazan (Jodi Kantor) and Carey Mulligan (Megan Twohey) who do a remarkable job. Little by little, the film makes us see through the eyes of journalists the discovery of the biggest Hollywood scandal of the decade, which resounded all over the world. We discover with them the modus operandi of Harvey Weinstein, which is sprawling and untouchable. Only our two heroines have the intelligence and the perseverance necessary to carry out an incredible investigation, which extends from the United States to the other end of the Atlantic.

She Said... Trailer VOST

The essential

She said is adapted from the investigative book of the same name, written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, published in 2019. The two journalists had subsequently won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for their journalistic work. Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s screenplay therefore puts the investigation, the hunt brilliantly accomplished by these two women, at the center of the film. Although things had already been done on the subject, in particular the documentary The Untouchable, Harvey Weinstein (2019), this fiction film is the first feature film to return to the investigation and openly quote the name of the producer. Director Maria Shrader, better known as an actress, presented the world premiere of her third film at the NYFF. The latter then received a warm critical reception from the American press.

Maria Shrader also directed the qualitative mini series Unorthodox on Netflix, and more recently, the SF romantic comedy, I’m your man, released in 2022. She said has this originality, in the manner of President’s Men (1976) by Alan J. Pakula, to take the journalistic angle and bring the anxiety and excitement of the two investigators to life day by day. According to The Guardian “She Said offers all the fun of a journalism film: fast pace (the film is a little over two hours but feels shorter), tangible work and the thrill of revelation”. This media scandal around this cinema mogul was also behind the deployment of the #Metoo wave around the world. This is why the case has remained such a significant event. Moreover, Brian de Palma is preparing a new feature film entitled predator, a horror film inspired by the Weinstein affix.

WE love

This film deals with the Weinstein case in an intelligent way. We follow this investigation as if we were in the place of the two journalists. The character of Weinstein indeed appears on the screen but we only see him from behind, a real colossus. We sometimes hear his voice, an irascible tone. The effect is there: we feel his presence throughout the film. He is a constant threat to the lives of our two heroines. He is a Shakespearian-looking despot, the Weinstein myth is revealed to us, little by little, without being caricatural. It is the sequence of testimonies, the producer’s successive responses and the journalists’ decision-making that ring true. reach our heroines.

Beyond a breathtaking and immersive story specific to the investigation, it is the portrait of two female journalists that the film paints brilliantly. Zoé Kazan plays Jodi Kantor, the scrawny journalist who senses the magnitude of the drama and instills this desire to investigate in her colleague Megan Twoney (Carey Mulligan). She has the confidence and the strength necessary to conduct this investigation with her. These two women support each other and overcome their fear of taking on a figure that carries such a heavy weight within Hollywood. This complicity between the two women is well transmitted and each of their success is felt as a victory for the spectator. The actresses therefore act very accurately and the rhythm of the film is striking.

She Said, the book published in 2019

We love less

Like scientists, the investigation is based on documents, precise facts, concise testimonies. It is the procedure of the investigation, shall we say, but the annoying thing is that the staging is also very academic. It lacks originality. Also, we will notice that if the dialogues work well and the narration is fluid, the spectator is constantly confronted with quantities of endless explanations. An incessant pattern that repeats itself between testimony from victims reduced to silence, interviews with lawyers and press rooms. The rhythm does not change a bit. It is its strength but also its weakness for the viewer who does not take a liking to this frantic pace of investigation.

We also notice fairly repetitive sequences and endless dialogues, sometimes voluble. As for the characters in the film, the granddaughter of Elia Kazan and the imposing Carey Mulligan embody the journalists very well. However, the other characters, such as the families of the journalists, only serve to show that they are caught in the abyss of the investigation. We would have liked more relief in the other characters, and a director of the NY Times perhaps a little less serious and austere. Nevertheless it is a film that will certainly find its audience, for its very gripping style and its important theme. You can find it in cinemas on November 23, 2022!

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Are we watching or not? She said, the film on the Weinstein affair | VL Media