By Lynn Venhaus
“She Said” is a brilliant chronicle of a watershed moment in American society — an important tipping point that helped launch the #MeToo movement and gave voice to countless victims.

In October 2017, two New York Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Jodi Kantor) broke the shocking story about sexual assault in Hollywood, able to get women on the record about powerful producer Harvey Weinstein’s three decades of abuse, shattering years of silence and altered American culture forever.

Framed as a scrupulous workplace account of two driven working mothers juggling their journalism careers and their young families, filmmakers infer that they helped make the world a better place for their daughters.

The absorbing narrative is as accurate as possible about journalism and the need to tell such important stories. Through vivid revelations, they show how much courage it took for people to come forward, risking their reputations and livelihoods.

With laser focus, director Maria Schrader has meticulously built a riveting drama from a sharp, incisive script by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, who adapted the 2019 nonfiction bestseller “She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement” by New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor.

The filmmakers’ skill and concern detailing a reporter’s process and a newspaper’s commitment to seeking the truth without any sensationalism or exploitation has resulted in a historic record that is in the same league as “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight.”

The cast is stellar across the board, with Zoe Kazan, as persistent Jodi Kantor, and Carey Mulligan, as resilient Megan Twohey, presenting each reporter’s dogged determination, integrity, and professionalism. 

As an energetic team, they pound the pavement tracking down sources who worked for Miramax and The Weinstein Company, arrange meetings and convince people to trust them with the evidence. Women who were actresses, production assistants and employees agreed to go on record, and these truth tellers caused an explosion felt from coast to coast once articles were published in 2017.

Kantor and Twohey, who are still at the Times, won Pulitzer Prizes for their work here, along with Ronan Farrow, whose work at the New Yorker was going on at the same time.

But while the aftermath is brought up as the film’s coda, this 129-minute film stresses the diligent meat-and-potatoes work that exposed the insidiousness of rampant sexual harassment in Hollywood, and how broken the system was for women.

Schrader makes sure we hear powerful men shouting at the women, trying to intimidate them, but she also uses real voice transcriptions.

While it may not be as explosive cinematically as superhero adventures, the theme of right vs. might hits hard from people not wearing capes but whose guideposts are truth and justice. Patricia Clarkson plays conscientious Times editor Rebecca Corbett and Andrew Braugher portrays no-nonsense executive editor Dean Baquet as they make crucial decisions in covering the substantial allegations.

Fine actresses portray the brave past Weinstein employees who described his predatory sexual misconduct including Jennifer Ehle as Laura Madden, Samantha Morton as Zelda Perkins, Angela Yeoh as Rowena Chiu. Ashley Judd, who broke the dam by publicly coming forward, plays herself.

Important voice work is done by Mike Houston as Weinstein, Keilly McQuail as Rose McGowan and James Austin Johnson as Donald Trump. Johnson is best known for his interpretations on “Saturday Night Live.”

As the supportive spouses, Tom Pelphrey plays Megan’s literary-agent husband Vadim “Jim” Rutman and Adam Shapiro is Kantor’s fellow Times writer, columnist Jim Lieber. They add the emotional element of how difficult life-work balance is.

Composer Nicholas Britell’s dramatic score heightens the tension as people connected to the Weinstein empire confirm information and a deadline looms.

How many women have been helped or validated because of this story? Truly astounding what happened five years ago, and what continues. After their initial probe, more than 80 women accused Weinstein of crimes. Now a convicted rapist, the disgraced mogul eventually was sentenced to 23 years in prison and is currently on trial in another case.

“She Said” is so well-made and convincingly acted that it can’t help but continue much needed conversations at work and home. It’s an information-packed procedural with lasting impact.

“She Said” is a 2022 biographical drama directed by Maria Schrader and starring Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Andre Braugher and Patricia Clarkson. Rated R for language and descriptions of sexual assault, its run time is 2 hours, 9 minutes. It is in theaters Nov. 18.
Lynn’s Grade: A

The Critics Choice Association Women’s Committee is pleased to announce the third round of recipients of the newly launched Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment. Called the “SOFEE,” the Seal recognizes outstanding new films and television series that illuminate the female experience and perspective through authentically told female-driven stories.

The newest titles earning the SOFEE are:
Feature Film: “Causeway” (A24 and Apple TV+)
Feature Film: “She Said” (Universal)
Documentary: “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” (Apple TV+)

Starring and produced by Jennifer Lawrence, “Causeway” is an intimate portrait of a soldier struggling to adjust to her life after returning home to New Orleans.

“It’s a tremendous honor for the film to receive this recognition from the Critics Choice Association’s Women’s Committee,” said “Causeway” director Lila Neugebauer. “I’m sending enduring gratitude to the remarkable team who worked tenaciously to bring this movie to fruition.”

“She Said” recounts the tenacity of New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor as they expose decades of institutional sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, and the system built around protecting abusers. Their dedicated reporting led to the #MeToo movement and created meaningful change in how women are treated in and outside the workplace. “She Said” is led by an incredible group of female filmmakers in front of and behind the camera, including director Maria Schrader and screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz, and is based on The New York Times investigation by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey and Rebecca Corbett and The New York Times bestseller, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. The film is produced by Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner for Plan B Entertainment and is executive produced by Brad Pitt and Lila Yacoub and by Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle for Annapurna Pictures.

‘“She Said” is more than a film, it’s a public record. Filmed so close to the actual events, it’s a visual synopsis that can be revisited in 100 years to show audiences how women ‘jumped together’ to stop a predator, and a predatory system,” said Tara McNamara, Chair of the CCA Women’s Committee. “The drama is exceptional for featuring fully realized female characters who reflect expressions of gender that are rarely seen in film.”

Both “She Said” and “Causeway” received a perfect score in the numerical formula that is used to determine if new titles, which are nominated by CCA Women’s Committee members, are eligible for a SOFEE. Qualifying projects will have a prominent female character arc, give female characters at least equal screen time to male characters, have female leaders behind the scenes, and pass elements highlighted in the Bechdel test. To be considered, new film and television releases must possess an artistic and storytelling value and exceptionality, and score at least 7 out of a possible 10 points in the SOFEE rubric, which can be found at There are no limits or quotas governing the number of SOFEE seals the CCA may grant.

In the documentary category, “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me” follows the singer-actress for six years as she opens up to reveal her struggles with anxiety, depression, Lupus, and bipolar disorder. Through her bravery in sharing her diagnoses, and as one of the first internationally known public figures to do so in this way, Gomez finds purpose in her effort to destigmatize mental illness and demonstrates to viewers that those struggling with their mental health are not alone. Directed and co-written by Alek Keshishian, the film clearly expresses Gomez’s voice and point-of-view.

“Our desire is that female writers and directors are given more opportunities to tell women’s stories, however, at this moment, more than 80 percent of working directors are men,” said McNamara. “‘Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me’ is a fantastic example of male filmmakers collaborating with a female subject to tell her unique experience with honesty and accuracy.”

The Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment is issued by the CCA Women’s Committee. Members include Tara McNamara (Chair), Hillary Atkin, Semira Ben-Amor, Christina Birro, Lauren Bradshaw, TJ Callahan, Natasha Gargiulo, Toni Gonzales, Teri Hart, Laura Hurley, Susan Kamyab, Louisa Moore, Gayl Murphy, Mary Murphy, Patricia Puentes, Christina Radish, Amanda Salas, Rachel Smith, Sammi Turano, and Lynn Venhaus, as well as CCA board member Paulette Cohn.

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA)
The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 580 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit:

By Alex McPherson

Director Maria Schrader’s sci-fi dramedy, “I’m Your Man,” presents multifaceted questions about love, humanity, happiness, and loneliness in a time when technology molds to fit our every need.

Based on a short story by Emma Braslavsky, the film centers around Alma (Maren Eggert), an anthropologist working for the Pergamon museum in Berlin, studying Sumerian cuneiform tablets for traces of poetry. She’s a closed-off workaholic leading a mundane life — getting along well with co-workers, but holding deeper sadness and resistance to anything resembling romance. In exchange for more funding for her research, Alma reluctantly agrees to participate in a three-week-long study where she’s paired with a humanoid “man of her dreams” named Tom (Dan Stevens).

This android is calibrated to match her personality and adapt over time in accordance with Alma’s reactions. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go smoothly at the beginning. From the moment Tom speaks the phrase, “Your eyes are like two mountain lakes I could sink into,” Alma isn’t impressed.

As the days go on, however, Tom grows more sensitive, relatable, and attractive to her. Alma slowly but surely starts falling for him, while simultaneously regretting her burgeoning feelings, and ends up confronting the roots of her melancholy. 

Although this android might develop like a person would, is Alma’s love authentic, or purely artificial? What is Alma willing to sacrifice to achieve satisfaction in a relationship, and should humanoids like Tom be available to the public in an increasingly isolated world? Schrader doesn’t opt for easy, convenient answers — which renders “I’m Your Man” a more contemplative watch than viewers might expect.

In large part, thanks to Alma’s complexity as a protagonist and Stevens’ poignant, drolly humorous performance as Tom, the film soars in both moments of light-heartedness and serious drama, with a story ripe for discussion once the credits roll.

Indeed, “I’m Your Man” isn’t so much a conventional science-fiction story as it is an exploration of desire and the befuddling mechanics of relationships. On top of that, Schrader’s film has comedic moments sprinkled throughout — mostly involving Tom’s flawed attempts at fitting in — that lend the proceedings a certain gentleness, not exploiting the premise for crowd-pleasing cheesiness. 

Eggert’s masterful performance conveys Alma’s yearning, resentment, joy, grief, and emotional growth in a way that ensures we always empathize with her as she navigates morally fraught waters.

The script — co-written by Schrader and Jan Schomburg — gives credence to multiple, contrasting perspectives regarding her situation, and encourages viewers to ponder some of the same topics themselves in their own lives. Does the end goal of true happiness justify the means, and is the pursuit of happiness something that makes us human to begin with?

Stevens, while giving a less naturalistic performance, is absolutely outstanding as Tom. For all his robotic, stilted movements and occasional cluelessness, Stevens imbues him with a tangible soul nonetheless, as he learns and evolves from his experiences. He veers further from his robotic roots into someone approaching a human, as well as a mirror for Alma to explore her own flaws and potential for change.

Funny, cathartic, and bittersweet, this intelligent love story rarely falters. The film’s slow pace is guided along by Benedict Neuenfels’ crisp, eye-popping cinematography — initially framing Alma behind glass, looking outside with her manufactured reflection standing beside her — and Tobias Wagner’s jazz-inflected score that becomes rather haunting by the final act. Some viewers might be frustrated by the plot’s low-key rhythms and somewhat ambiguous ending, but as a meditation on a plausible near-future, “I’m Your Man” whirs with life.

Dan Stevens and Sandra Huller

“I’m Your Man” is a science fiction romantic comedy that is in German with English subtitles. Directed by Maria Schrader, it stars Maren Eggert, Dan Stevens and Sandra Huller. Rated R for some sexual content and language throughout, the runtime is 1 hour, 45 minutes. It is in theatres Oct. 1 and digitally Oct. 12. Alex’s Grade: A.