Sunday, May 19Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Will you go on the record? How ‘She Said’ reminds us of the sad realities of Hollywood. 

Released five years after the original article from The New York Times was published, ‘She Said’ tells the story of the two journalists who uncovered the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are played by Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan respectively, yet the film also includes actresses who were victims of Weinstein including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd, who play/voice themselves. 

The film itself is subtle, yet the statement it makes is bold. By criticising the very industry that it has been created in, the film sets out to confront the industry professionals who will be watching this film – many of whom will have worked with Weinstein, maybe even defended him. ‘She Said’ does not glamorise Hollywood or the media industry – it does the opposite. 

By both exploring and exposing the realities behind manipulative, high-powered professionals, ‘She Said’ depicts the fight to uncover the truth. In turn, its representation of the world of journalism is bitterly realistic – allowing the audience an insight into the verbal abuse thrown at journalists – both by the subjects of their writing and members of the public. 

Both Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan are extremely strong in their roles, they work perfectly together on screen, we can only hope that we will get more collaborative work from them in the future. Mulligan, recently Golden – Globe nominated for her performance, continues a streak of female – fronted films. ‘She Said’, comes a year after the release and success of Mulligan’s Oscar – nominated performance in ‘Promising Young Woman’ (2021), both films produce a commentary on the MeToo movement, ‘She Said’ being the start of its widespread attention, and ‘Promising Young Woman’ displaying the result of the movement. 

Although it was five years ago that the article released, the film is still so poignant today – the film’s release coincided with Weinstein’s ongoing trial in Los Angeles, for which he was found guilty of 3 charges, which included rape, forced oral copulation and third-degree sexual misconduct. Overseas, Weinstein still has outstanding charges in London. 

The bold choices taken by Kantor and Twohey in their original article and subsequent book, paved the way for the further criticism of not only the entertainment industry but the treatment of women worldwide. ‘She Said’ continues their legacy and proves that truth matters, regardless of how difficult it may be to uncover. 

Illustration by Meghan O’Brien