This article contains references to sexual assault and harassment.
The revelation of Harvey Weinstein’s extensive sexual abuse of numerous actresses was one of the most significant events in recent Hollywood history, so it’s no surprise Hollywood is making a movie out of it. She says stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who investigated allegations of The New York Times.
Many films have featured journalists as main characters and told stories of them exposing corruption and bringing justice to those wronged by powerful people. For impatient fans She sayssubsequent films will give them gripping stories of heroic journalists speaking truth to power.
All the President’s Men (1976)
Based on Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigation of the Watergate scandal, All the President’s Men was a huge hit with critics and audiences alike. Even today, it remains one of the most influential political thrillers, with brilliant storytelling and tension that set the standard for the genre.
Whereas She says is more of a pure drama, it shares several points in common with All the President’s Men, including the removal of a powerful person engaged in high-level corruption. They both also feature a pair of journalists as protagonists, played by some of the great performers of their generations.
Before the #MeToo movement got off to a serious start, the sexual harassment scandal of Fox News executive Roger Ailes was a notable precursor to bringing the issue to light. Bomb was produced just a few years after the scandal became public, chronicling how prominent women on the network, including Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, exposed Ailes.
Perhaps because of its disturbing matter, Bomb was a box office disappointment, but it received positive reviews for the cast’s performances, particularly that of an almost unrecognizable Charlize Theron as Kelly. Another highlight is John Lithgow giving one of his best villain performances as Wings.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
The original Swedish version of The girl with the dragon tattoo is impressive on its own, but David Fincher’s remake has achieved an incredible feat in being as good as the original. Starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film follows a journalist and a hacker who investigate the long-ago disappearance of a young woman from a wealthy family.
We might not think that The girl with the dragon tattoo have a lot in common with She says, but they share heartbreaking themes of sexual assault, with Lizbeth de Mara exacting revenge on her sadistic state-appointed guardian. Moreover, Craig’s Nykvist is a realistic portrayal of journalists, as befits Larsson’s own history in the profession.
The Insider (1999)
by Michael Mann The insider is based on the story of Jeffrey Wigand, a whistleblower who exposed wrongdoing in the tobacco industry. Often considered one of Mann’s finest films, the film was not a financial success, but received rave reviews and helped cement Russell Crowe’s status as an in-demand leading man.
As She says, The insiderThe actual events of are significant in showing the world mountains of wrongdoing by powerful people who have spent years being empowered. The tobacco industry has been politically powerful for decades and has gone to great lengths to try to silence people like Wigard, the same way Weinstein would blacklist actresses who tried to expose him.
When an aging news anchor collapses on live television, his bosses see ratings skyrocket and realize that his outbursts could save the struggling network. So begins Networka highly acclaimed satire on media excess that earned Peter Finch the first posthumous Oscar as the iconic Howard Beale.
Network is certainly more darkly comic than the justly dead earnest She says, but it effectively illustrates how the pressures of fame and the demands of rulers can destroy a life. As invigorating as Beale’s rants are, his long mental breakdown is utterly tragic, as is the way everyone ruthlessly exploits his condition.
The Post (2017)
A return to movies like All the President’s Men, The post office tells the story of The Washington Postthe publication of Pentagon documents, which proved the decades-long involvement of the US government in Vietnam. Directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring a star-studded cast, the film won critical acclaim for its performances and passionate defense of journalism in the age of “fake news”.
Similar to All the President’s Men, The post office portrays the invisible Richard Nixon as the ultimate antagonist and even a call for Jobthe subsequent discovery of the Watergate break-in. The film also premiered just months after the Weinstein scandal broke, giving it even more urgency as a story of hard-working, service-minded muckrakers.
Projector is often considered not only one of the best films about journalism, but one of the best based on a true story in general (at least according to Reddit). Not only did it win the Best Picture Oscar, it also received positive ratings from the Vatican for “[voicing] the shock and deep pain of the faithful” over revelations of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child sexual abuse by numerous priests (via Weekly entertainment).
The scandals described in Projector were in many ways as horrific as the crimes of Harvey Weinstein, with the added shock that the survivors were so young. But the film is also fundamentally hopeful, showing that the truth comes out when people are determined to find it.
State of play (2009)
The 21st century has seen many acclaimed political thrillers, but one of the most underrated is State of play, based on the British series of the same name. Starring Russell Crowe as reporter Cal McAffrey, the plot follows Cal as he investigates the mysterious death of Congressman Stephen Collins’ (Ben Affleck) mistress.
Whereas State of play Not much talked about today, it’s worth seeking out for its clever writing and great cast, especially Crowe and Helen Mirren. Also worth watching for fans of She says to be a story about how journalism, politics and truth intersect and often conflict.
Similar to Harvey Weinstein in the late 2010s, the Zodiac Killer fascinated and terrified people across the country in the late 60s and early 70s. by David Fincher Zodiac takes the fruitless real-life hunt for the infamous serial killer and creates compelling drama that perfectly captures the unease of the times.
From the terrifying scene of the lake murder, Zodiac never releases the tension, especially during long stretches when no one is killed, and the viewer waits for the next tragedy. Some of the scariest parts come after the murders are over, and Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) is completely shattered by his obsession with the case.
Richard Jewell (2019)
Based on the true story of a security guard who helped foil a bombing at the 1996 Olympics only to find himself framed for the crime, Richard Jewell is an effective drama that shows how heroism can sometimes be thankless work. Despite failing at the box office, the film was a hit with critics, even earning a spot on the National Board of Review’s 2019 Top 10 list (via Deadline).
Richard Jewell works as a companion piece for She says due to their differences, with the former focusing on times when journalism goes wrong. While Kathy Scruggs’ portrayal has been widely criticized as demonization, it’s still worth knowing how Jewell could have been rammed with the help of a desperate press for a juicy story.
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