Are there any movies about journalism that are considered bad?
Of course, I have some I have not seen, but of the ones that I have (especially those based on true stories), they are downright solid pieces of film.
It seems as though there is a silent agreement in Hollywood that movies that focus on journalism must strive for authenticity. Afterall, who would know more about the journalist profession than film critics? As journalists strive to get their work published timely, so it is with movies based off of recent events, such as the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal in She Said.
The story is told pretty straightforward, as Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) starts getting stories from women in Hollywood about the abhorrent practices of producer Harvey Weinstein. After coming back from maternity leave, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) comes in to assist, having experience on the Donald Trump sexual accusations during his 2016 run for president.
The casting in the film is rather spot on. While not a rookie, there is still enough naivety that Kazan brings to Kantor. Interestingly enough, while Kantor is behind Twohey in journalism experience, she is ahead of her in the parenting department (Kantor is a young mom of three, while Twohey just had her first child). Yet Mulligan has always been that kind of actress perfectly able to generate a confident strength from within her that lets all around her know not to mess with her (which she gets the chance to show in a certain scene in a bar.)
Speaking of people who don’t cut corners when it comes to sexism, it is always a blessing to see Patricia Clarkson in a film. She is cast perfectly as a superior to the two leads both morally as well as occupationally.
There is just enough time spent on knowing what the personal lives are like of certain characters, not just the two leads. There are two women interviewed that will be remembered after the credits role. The first, in only one scene, is Samantha Morton as Zelda Perkins, who gives Kantor saved documents as well as what she remembers. The second is the more emotional impact, with Laura Madden (Jennifer Ehle), recounting the time she was raped by Weinstein, leading to her eventual departure from the Hollywood system (at the time of her being interviewed, she is battling breast cancer).
Parents, the swearing is pretty standard for a soft R rating, but it is the subject matter that brings this movie its true R rating. High School and above.
Perhaps the film’s premise is a little too well known to viewers at this point, but the execution of the film by director Maria Scrader makes the film worth more than just looking at the Wikipedia page of what happened.
As for Harvey in the film, he is played by an actor named Mike Houston. He is visible only in one segment in the film, but shown only from behind (we do hear his voice at other times on the phone).
Mike Houston must be happy his face is never on screen: to be remembered as the guy who played Harvey Weinstein would not be convenient.