top of page


She Said

average rating is 4 out of 5


Brian Penn


Posted on:

Nov 26, 2022

Film Reviews
She Said
Directed by:
Maria Schrader
Written by:
Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan

‘Evil prospers when good men sit back and do nothing’ is an often quoted maxim though its origins are now disputed. Never has it been more aptly demonstrated in this new film documenting the fall of Harvey Weinstein and birth of the #MeToo movement. It’s been five years since the edifice of abuse built by Weinstein and his cronies finally crumbled. The narrative is familiar and well-trodden but no less compelling; a chilling portrayal of exploitation in the film industry.


The story begins in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory and accusations of sexual harassment. New York Times journalist Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) rages at the injustice as Trump takes office in 2017. However, colleague Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) is on the trail of a story about film producer Harvey Weinstein. Twohey returns from maternity leave suffering the effects of post-natal depression. She is intrigued by Kantor’s discovery and the pair join forces to expose the head of Miramax Films. Slowly but surely they chip away a wall of silence as witnesses come forward. Ex-employees and aspiring actresses tell a depressing story of coercion and sexual abuse. However, they are reluctant to go on record with many bound by out of court settlements and non-disclosure agreements. Then a massive break arrives when former aide Zelda Perkins (Samantha Morton) provides Kantor with explosive documents. The net begins to close around Weinstein as his fate is rightfully sealed.


Maria Schrader executes an intelligent script seen through the eyes of two dogged journalists determined to uncover the truth. Its construction owes much to ‘All the President’s Men’ and exploration of the Watergate scandal. Using this template allows greater detachment from the emotive subject matter and lets the story breathe. Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow (in audio) appear as themselves adding further authenticity to the narrative.


Elsewhere, there are smart cinematic touches that heighten the tension. Harvey Weinstein is never seen face on, and there are eerie shots of empty hotel rooms that feel strangely claustrophobic. Undeniable proof that what is left off screen can be just as powerful as what is put on it. The film refuses to bang the drum for feminism and is all the better for it. What remains is a brutal indictment of power in its most corrosive form; the human cost of control through fear and the complicity of those who look the other way. It’s not comfortable to watch but certainly not a film anyone can afford to miss.

About the Film Critic
Brian Penn
Brian Penn
Theatrical Release
bottom of page