The headline was clear, concise and damning: “Harvey Weinstein Paid Sexual Harassment Accusers For Decades.” Story, written by The New York Times Reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kanter and published on October 5, 2017, describe how the powerful producer and Miramax co-founder fended off decades of sexual assault and harassment allegations. He spoke to his former assistants, leading actresses and other film industry people to discover the group of lawyers, employees and advisers who defended the Hollywood mogul. Twohey and Kantor’s report did not help the Weinstein survivors seek redress; This helped to trigger the percolating movement.
By Maria Schrader she said Dramatizing the investigative process of Twohey and Kantor, it meticulously portrays the lengths to which reporters went to uncover one of the worst cases of workplace abuse, power and coercion in memory. (I was an employee The Times (The film — based on his book of the same title — is sensitive, dutiful and, thanks to the lead performances, more engaging than the average newsroom procedural.)
The bottom line
Sensitive and charming.
Following in the tradition of its genre forebears (most recently, Tom McCarthy’s Oscar-winning Spotlight), she said Groundbreaking stories revolve around the hustle and bustle of toiling in the mundane affairs of everyday life. It pierces but doesn’t fully unravel a darker thesis: how entwined and complicit many of us are in systems that put abusive men in power. (Brad Pitt, who was recently accused of being accused, is an executive producer.) Bringing justice requires a radical rethink and a fresh start.
Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Kanter (Zoe Kazan) are at the center she said, but his story is anchored by vignettes that preview the lives of the women who become his sources. The film opens in Ireland in 1992, with a scene from Laura Madden (Jennifer Ehle), one of the first women to go on the record about Weinstein, during the filming of the Miramax film. She soon joins a production company and in the next scene we see her running through the streets – tears in her eyes, a sad look on her face. This moment connects the past to the present and establishes one of the film’s most compelling threads: a generation of women forced to abandon their dreams and live alone with their nightmares.
when she said Set in the recent present — five months after Election Day 2016 — we have a firm understanding of the reporters behind the story. The pair, whose previous work has focused on labor and Amazon, are trying to weave a story out of rumors they’ve heard about Weinstein. Tracking down and trying to talk to some high-profile women, such as Rose McGowan, for example, is an all-consuming task, pulling her away from time with her husband and daughters. Megan, who broke some of the initial reports of sexual harassment allegations against Trump, has returned to work after giving birth to her first child. Postpartum depression afflicts her, and she finds respite from the overwhelming demands of motherhood by throwing herself into a new project.
The two women’s decision to collaborate is ambiguous: their editor, Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson), pairs them up and puts them on the job. The investigation takes Megan and Jody, whose different personalities become apparent throughout New York and around the world over the course of the film. Megan, a steely force unafraid of confrontation, tries to find low-profile women who want to go on record. They travel to Queens to track down one of Weinstein’s former assistants and negotiate with former Weinstein Company board member Lance Mayrow (Sean Cullen) to confirm the exact number of settlements paid out by the producer. Mulligan delivers a compelling turn by conveying Megan’s struggle to balance competing responsibilities and efforts to stave off depression. The reporter’s drive provides the foundation for Mulligan’s performance, which the actress imbues with dry humor and an admirable sense of ruthlessness.
The pair use mellower tactics – at one point Megan describes her as “less intimidating”. He travels to London, California and Wales in an attempt to get former aides to tell their stories. Kazan channels her character’s energy through looks of concern — furrowed brows, teary eyes — and pleas for understanding. The pair are persistent in their quest to get at least one woman on record.
Incomparable, however, is Samantha Morton as Zelda Perkins, a former Weinstein employee bound by the terms of a suffocating NDA. In her brief scene, as Zelda sits with the pair in a London cafe, she gives a performance that shifts its verisimilitude and fades in its impact. Zelda tells a journalist about how another aide’s assault activated her desire to fight the Weinstein Company. She – and that assistant, Rowena Chiu (Angela Yeoh) – tried to confront the company, saying that Harvey’s behavior should be taken seriously, that the board would act instead of ignore it. Their efforts didn’t amount to much in the end, but that didn’t stop them from trying to flesh out a Zelda story. At the end, she hands Jodie and Megan a pair of papers promoting their investigation.
In the heart she said, which moves at a leisurely pace and sometimes drags the film’s runtime to more than two hours, is a testament to these women. Instead of depicting any invasion, Schrader (I am yours), working with DP Natasha Breyer, creates audio-visual montages: the camera plays down an ornately decorated hotel corridor as Harvey (briefly depicted, but not seen) tries to force a recording woman into his room; As Laura recounts her rape story, the film cuts to a hotel room where the woman is sitting on the beach with Jodi in her underwear strewn on the floor and the shower running in the bathroom.
These moments offer a kind of renaissance to women whose stories haven’t been heard in decades. But they make the testimonies we have yet to hear shine even brighter in their absence. Five years after the peak of #MeToo, started by activist Tarana Burke, dozens of stories like Twohey’s and Kantor’s have been published, helping to change how we talk about sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond. Despite the fact that the movement was started by a black woman survivor, mainstream depictions and sympathies revolved around the experiences of white women. There is no expectation she said As for the reality, but as the film inevitably moves into the canon of historical and biographical dramatizations, it is hoped that it will revive discourse and invite conversations that – years later – some testimonies carry more weight than others.