“Of course. Of course I have a secret.”
Story: In 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, investigative journalists at the New York Times, began an investigation into then-alleged sexual misconduct at Miramax Studios. Little did they know that their investigation would find worldwide instances of sexual abuse, with over a hundred women coming forward once their piece was published. But at the start of their investigation, it looked like they were headed to dead-end city.
Genre I’d put it in: Must Watch Docudramas
Release Date: 2022
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the investigation by – and Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of – the New York Times, regarding the history of abuse and misconduct by Harvey Weinstein. Also based on the book of the same name by NYT jouralists Kantor and Twohey. One of the jumping-off points of the #MeToo movement.
Gotta say: I’m a sucker for any and all films set in the world of journalism. All the President’s Men, Blindspot, The Post, along with stories outside the in-office docudrama genre, like His Gal Friday, and The Killing Fields. Add in some Grrrrl Power vibes, and I was ready to eat Said up with a spoon. And I did.
Said takes the information that we already know – that human sludge pile Harvey Weinstein abused way too many women in a shocking, disgusting abuse of power – and shows us all the work Kantor and Twohey put into the article that blew this case wide open. As Twohey and Kantor, Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan deliver believable performances; I understood how much effort these two put in, and how it affected their home lives and psyches. Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s screenplay (based on the book mentioned above) paints a picture of two young professionals excelling in their careers, and starting families in their personal lives. Mulligan and Kazan show the determination and exhaustion of these characters/women, along with their successes and heartbreaks. They’re magnificent, and after Mulligan’s amazing turn in Promising Young Woman, and Kazan’s subversive turn in Ruby Sparks, I’d expect nothing less.
The subject matter is definitely gripping, even though the plotting feels a bit “then we did this…” rather than the thriller vibes typical for this type of journalism drama. I was fine with the beat-for-beat feel of Said‘s story, as I feel it sheds light on something too often missed in these types of films; they relentless plodding of research, and seemingly aimless grasping for facts that may not ever be used. Said has a 70s event film vibe, like President’s Men, where the facts of the story present themselves without the bells and whistles many 21st Century docudramas tack on to “make things interesting”. The story is intriguing enough in this case. And I dig the way it shows us the banality of evil, as well as the exhausting work by those looking to do good.
#Protip: The original NYT article started what’s now come to be known as The Weinstein Effect, shining a light on sexual abuse and misconduct in almost every facet of our world.