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Blu-ray Review: She Said (Collector’s Edition)

February 7, 2023

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

A movie about the two female journalists who helped break the Harvey Weinstein story, She Said is an exploration of the still-recent events which led to the toppling of a Hollywood giant and the start of the #MeToo movement, that struggles at times to be as compelling as the reporting it is based on.

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star as Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, a pair of reporters for the New York Times who are in the process of investigating workplace harassment in the wake of the 2016 election, when they get assorted tips about Weinstein’s history of sexual abuse, dating back to his time at Miramax in the 1990s.

The film follows Twohey and Kantor as they try to balance their home lives and young children with following leads, and trying to convince actresses (including Ashley Judd, playing herself) and former employees who were abused by Weinstein, and received cash settlements in exchange for their continued silence, to go on the record for their story.

Directed by Maria Schrader (Netflix’s Unorthodox), and based on Twohey and Kantor’s 2019 book which has been adapted by screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz, She Said is very much a procedural that tries to dramatize this recent history. We already know the basic facts of the story, and they are presented in a very direct, matter-of-fact way. This decidedly not-flashy, basically no-frills approach will work better for some, but it makes the film feel somewhat plodding and stilted as a cinematic drama. It often lacks momentum and is left feeling a bit too dry, never quite finding its rhythm as a journalistic thriller.

There are some engaging scenes throughout the (slightly over) two hour film, and it does feature good performances (though Mulligan and Kazan also weirdly feel a bit miscast when you see their older real life counterparts in the included featurette). The film’s best moments and performances belong to Samantha Morton and Jennifer Ehle (as Zelda Perkins and Laura Madden, respectively), who both make the most of their limited screen time as women who worked for Weinstein and are willing to break their silence. Morton’s one standout scene, where she talks about systemic abuse within the film industry and the culture of silence around it, is probably the most pointed and powerful in the film.

While She Said thankfully doesn’t try to depict the abuse itself (Weinstein, played by stand-in Mike Houston, is also only seen from behind despite being a looming figure in the story), and it doesn’t feel sensationalized in the way that something like Bombshell did, the film’s methodical pace and somewhat bland domestic scenes keep it from having the crackling energy of a film like Spotlight. The film works as a somewhat decent portrait of journalists working against a looming deadline and threats from a powerful figure, but it isn’t necessarily the most compelling dramatization of this material.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

The Blu-ray includes a single featurette and the theatrical trailer. A regular DVD is also included in the package, which ships with a slipcover.

Breaking the Story (6 minutes, 43 seconds): The real life Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor discuss breaking this bombshell story, and how their reporting is portrayed in the film, in this short featurette.

Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes, 32 seconds)

She Said is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 129 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: January 10th, 2023

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