One of the obvious big players for award season is She Said, a film adaptation of the 2019 book that told the behind-the-scenes story of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey breaking the Harvey Weinstein scandal in the New York Times. The film is directed by German filmmaker Maria Schrader, who directed the Netflix series Unorthodox and the stellar film I’m Your Man, and is written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, who has co-written Colette, Disobedience, and Ida. She Said stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as Twohey and Kantor, respectively. Based on the trailer, it looks like She Said is going for All The President’s Men/Spotlight vibes, and it looks pretty good. If it’s even halfway decent, it will be a fall contender, for sure. But She Said has a rather large elephant in its room, and I wonder if this will become a story unto itself.
She Said is co-produced by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. Ellison’s involvement is not surprising—in 2013, the Vanity Fair Hollywood issue revealed that Ellison loathes Weinstein. They worked together earlier in Ellison’s career, before Annapurna started distributing its own films, and it was not a fruitful collaboration. Eventually, they broke entirely around the release and commercial failure of Paul Thomas Anderson’s film, The Master. Now, this is not the same as Ellison doing anything meaningful about the years of rumors about Weinstein abusing and assaulting women, but it’s also not surprising Ellison would jump on the chance to pay for a movie all about Weinstein’s global humiliation and downfall.
But Brad Pitt knew about Weinstein circa 1996, we know because his then-fiancé Gwyneth Paltrow told him. At the time, he told Weinstein, “If you ever make her feel uncomfortable again, I’ll kill you.” He was happy to take credit for standing up to Weinstein on behalf of Paltrow, but he never has had a good answer for why he worked with Weinstein twice, on 2009’s Inglorious Basterds and 2012’s Killing Them Softly, while with Angelina Jolie, herself another of Weinstein’s survivors who vowed to never work with the man again—and stuck to it.
Will he have to answer for it now, as one of the celebrity producers of She Said? It’s not fair to the film, but the Pitt problem can’t be ignored. Ever since the scandal first broke, Pitt was happy to be the “Ozarks guy” protecting his woman from the gross producer…except he never did answer for working with Weinstein later, while coupled with another woman the man assaulted. It’s naked hypocrisy that has pretty much gotten a pass in the film press. It gets mentioned occasionally, like in the PEOPLE article linked in the previous paragraph, but there’s never any follow-up and the questions are never put directly to Pitt. Will that change this fall? Can Pitt back a film like She Said without accounting for his own history with Harvey?