6 Reasons Why She Said Is Worth Seeing When It Arrives In Theaters

Carey Mulligan in She Said
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

There are plenty of interesting films on the list of 2022 movie releases. This includes many early award-season favorites. She Said may fall into that category. It has many elements that make it fit into the norm of nominated films: It tells an important story, has a prestigious cast, and tonally feels like many past Oscar-winning films. 

She Said will have more than just awards voters talking, because overall, it’s a film that retells a devastating true story in a compassionate and respectful way. She Said hits theaters on November 18, but I had the chance to see it early at the Chicago International Film Festival.

I think the film is worth going to the theater to see and here’s why:

Jennifer Ehle in She Said

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

She Said Gives A Voice To Harvey Weinstein’s Victims 

She Said is based on Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s book of the same name. The book and the film tell the story of how they exposed the accusations of Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual misconduct and abuse in Hollywood. The women worked for the New York Times at the time as investigative reporters. 

I haven’t read the book, so I am not sure how it tells the stories of Weinstein’s accusers, but the movie gets their stories across in a way that doesn’t feel exploitative. She Said very much seems dedicated to letting viewers know the horror these women endured as a way to give them a voice. 

The film seeks to let them tell their stories, or to let others tell their stories, in a way that’s empowering. It’s a very empathetic portrait of these women. This makes the film complicated because it’s a major Hollywood film and that's the system that allowed Weinstein to get away with these crimes (some proven in court, some still alleged) for so long. Maybe the film is, in a small way, an act of remorse and redemption for those who helped make it. 

Mike Houston in She Said

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It Uses Unexpected Elements To Tell This Story 

She Said has the challenging task of telling a true story that’s more recent than many great movies based on true stories. It’s been less than ten years since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein went public. Because many of Weinstein’s accusers are still alive, and some of them are famous actresses, She Said has one of the victims play herself. 

This is an unexpected choice that allows for some authenticity in the film. The voice actors also really sell you on their portrayals. They sound like the famous voices heard in this movie, including Donald Trump, Rose McGowan, and Harvey Weinstein.

This isn’t a movie about Harvey Weinstein. It is about his victims. However, to tell this story, his presence has to be included. She Said really uses an effective way to include him in the film. It makes him feel just as terrifying as any fictional monster, but maybe even more so as a real-life one.  

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in She Said

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

She Said Creates Suspense Around A Well Known Tale 

Even if you haven’t read the She Said book, anyone who follows the media and news knows at least the basics of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. They also know that it leads to his arrest, though the trials are still ongoing. Even knowing that Jodi, Megan, and other reporters break this story and make public the allegations of assaults, abuse, and many settlements, the film keeps you on the edge.

It turns breaking this story into a suspense thriller. You worry that Weinstein will stop it, and the article will never run.  You wonder if justice will ever be served. For a moment, you forget this is a real story and that the ending is still being written. It feels very Hollywood for this story to get a suspense element, and to make journalism feel like a cat-and-mouse thriller. However, this is probably how all this felt to the reporters. 

Harvey Weinstein seemed like an untouchable man. They probably did fear the consequences of exposing his abuse. It also likely wasn’t an easy story to get told. 

Zoe Kazan, Patricia Clarkson, Carey Mulligan in She Said

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

The Film Showcases The Struggle To Get The Weinstein Story Told  

She Said uses suspense to showcase the difficulty of getting this story out to the public. It also shows just the general hurdles these reporters face to get it out there. They have victims who don’t trust the media. They have victims scared to come forward and make their abuse public. There are victims who just want to move on or can’t speak because of settlements. 

They also, at some point, worry about another reporter telling the story before them. There are many aspects and barriers that stop this story from coming out. This part of She Said adds to the realistic parts of the film. There are plenty of investigative journalists who face many challenges, including sources not wanting to go on record, before they break a major story. 

She Said seems to capture the energy surrounding breaking a monumental story that will change many lives. 

Carey Mulligan in She Said

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

She Said Features Great But Subtle Performances 

She Said focuses on the victims above all, but Jodi and Megan are critical to this story. The film dives somewhat into their home lives and why this story compels them to keep going. Zoe Kazan plays Jodi, and Carey Mulligan plays Megan.

Zoe Kazan is the lead actress based on her importance to the story and Carey Mulligan is the supporting actress in She Said. Both give subtle performances. Neither of them has big movie moments, where they’re giving long speeches or verbally fighting Weinstein. Instead, everything feels more realistic. They’re journalists. They don’t fight the bad guy by running toward him. They do it with their words. 

Zoe Kazan in She Said

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It Opens The Door For Important Conversations 

The #MeToo movement was at its most powerful around the Harvey Weinstein scandal exposure and the years that followed. However, it hasn’t been as active in recent years. You can read any newspaper or watch any news story and know that sexual assault is still a major problem. There are countless victims of sexual abuse and assault daily, but people aren’t talking about it like they were at the peak of the #MeToo movement.

She Said could have the potential to re-spark the movement because it opens old wounds. The wounds of the victims portrayed in the film and those who faced similar assault and abuse. The film isn’t the first #MeToo era movie, but it’s one that draws attention back to the topic.

It also may prompt some viewers to further research the Harvey Weinstein scandal--to know more about the truth behind this movie. It may make you want to read She Said, the original articles about it, or other books or articles on the topic.

She Said really highlights the horrors of Harvey Weinstein's crimes without (hopefully) retraumatizing anyone watching or involved in the making of it. 

She Said premieres in theaters on November 18.  

Jerrica Tisdale
Freelance Writer

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.