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  • Jennifer Green

Column: Is "She Said" the portrayal of female journalists we've been waiting for?

A lot has been written about the depiction of female journalists in "She Said," director Maria Schrader and scriptwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey's book about their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Reviewers have praised the film for offering what other investigative journalism movies (think "All the President's Men" or "Spotlight") have not -- the female perspective, especially outside the newsroom.


Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey (played by Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan) are seen juggling family life and work in the film. They're also covering a story that impacted women especially, so most of their sources are female.


Their reporting helped invigorate the #MeToo movement, which empowered women around the globe to publicly denounce sexual misconduct and has resulted in some very high-profile men, like Weinstein, being held accountable for inappropriate and even illegal behavior, as well as some changes to workplace oversight (as end credits describe).


Stating the obvious, as a journalist and a woman, I was excited to see this film and predisposed to like it. I am its target demographic: according to The Hollywood Reporter, almost half of opening weekend ticket sales went to people aged 45 and older, and more than 60 percent of viewers were "older females."


Unlike many critics, I was surprisingly underwhelmed by this movie. I wasn't convinced by the depiction of the reporters' uniquely female concerns, nor by its portrayal of high-stakes investigative journalism. I do think the film does an excellent job of portraying the fragility of survivors and the potential long-lasting impacts of sexual violence.


I'll try to explain here, knowing I'm treading into controversial territory. We are apparently so starved for these kinds of stories that critiquing the ones we get might be considered bad form.


Read the full piece on the website of The Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

 

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures.


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