I speak to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the ripped-from-the-headlines drama “She Said.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to discuss the weekend’s flickers including the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said” and the Christmas musical “Spirited.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
“She Said,” a new film about the New York Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of the sexual misconduct perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, breathes the same air as other newsroom procedurals like “The Post” and “Spotlight.”
Based on the 2019 book by Twohey and Kantor, the movie begins with Twohey’s investigations into sexual assault allegations against presidential candidate Donald Trump and FOX TV commentator Bill O’Reilly. The success of those stories, which cost O’Reilly his lucrative television gig, led to a further investigation of abuse and institutional misogyny in the film business, specifically involving film producer Weinstein.
Working in tandem with Kantor, Twohey begins sorting through sexual abuse claims from Hollywood actresses like Rose McGowan (voice of Kelly McQuail) and Ashley Judd (as herself).
“If that can happen to Hollywood actresses,” Twohey says, “who else is it happening to?”
“She Said” follows their month’s long investigation, from the unwillingness of victims to go on the record for fear of repercussions and legal maneuvering to death threats and harassment.
“You have to imagine that every call you make is being recorded and you’re being followed,” warns New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet (Andre Braugher).
The story behind the story that rocked Hollywood is a boots-on-the-ground journalism movie. Director Maria Schrader and screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz walk us through the uncovering of information, the dead-ends, the back-and-forth with reluctant sources in a slow-and-steady fashion. It’s a detailed portrait of the daily grind journalists go through to ensure accuracy and fairness.
Unfortunately, because this #MeToo story lived at the very center of popular discourse at the time and beyond, “She Said’s” efforts to document the making of the story contain very few surprises.
On an emotional level, however, the recollections of Weinstein’s victims, former assistant Zelda Perkins (Samantha Morton) and Rowena Chiu (Angela Yeoh), are as devastating as former Weinstein Co. Board Member Lance Maerov’s (Sean Cullen) comment—”Are you sure that this isn’t just young women who want to sleep with a movie producer to get ahead?” is maddening.
Schrader never sensationalizes “She Said,” but her retelling of the victimization of the powerless and Weinstein’s criminal behaviour is buoyed by some interesting choices, including using real audio of model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and Weinstein as he tries to coerce her into joining him in his hotel suite. As the camera floats down a fancy hotel hallway, Schrader allows the tape to play to skin crawling effect. It is that level of detail and raw storytelling that captures the true horror of the case against Weinstein.
While “Disobedience” asks the same kind of questions that many romantic dramas have asked. Can love survive over years? Is any love forbidden? Does love change everything? The new Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams film, simply asks them in a different way.
Based on the novel by Naomi Alderman, “Disobedience” is the story of two women at odds with their upbringing. Rachel Weisz is Ronit, a New York based photographer, notified of her rabbi father’s (Anton Lesser) death. Travelling to London and the Orthodox Jewish area of her birth, she is met by derision by her former community. Most shun her, seeing her abandonment of their way of life as
rejection of their traditions. Everyone, that is, except childhood friends Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), who will soon take over as rabbi, and his wife Esti (Rachel McAdams). As Ronit settles her father’s estate the reason for her self-imposed exile becomes clear as she and Esti revive their teenage romance.
Chilean director Sebastian Lelio sets the stage, expertly creating the insular world of the British Orthodox Jewish enclave. Drawing us into a world ruled by cultural and spiritual customs he provides the background we need to contextualize the patriarchal world Ronit re-enters. That rich portrait gives Weisz and McAdams a canvas on which to paint two very different but very effective performances.
Both are strong-willed people who have spent years suppressing their feelings. Weisz’s Ronit straddles two worlds, her new life in America versus her old life in Britain, and with that comes introspection. Revisiting her past brings up a wellspring of emotions not just for Esti but for the life she left behind. Weisz embodies that push and pull with an internal performance that speaks volumes.
McAdams approaches Esti as a person frustrated with, but not trapped in, her ordered life. Ronit offers a kind of freedom and connection she rarely feels. It’s tremendous work, overlapping Esti’s devotedness with her natural inclinations.
“Disobedience” made the festival rounds where it was noted for its sex scenes but it is so much more than that. It’s a slow-burning character-driven study of passion that avoids judging its characters or the traditions it depicts.