One of the best films of the year, She Said is directed by Maria Schrader, and it stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as the two New York Times reporters who investigated Harvey Weinstein. Reminiscent of All the President’s Men and Spotlight, She Said is a journalism film that focuses on the process these dogged reporters go through to break one of the most important stories of the last decade, the persistent, violent, and demeaning sexual exploitation and gender discrimination by one of the most powerful movie producers in Hollywood.

She Said’s script by Rebecca Lenkiewicz is tight and well-written. Most of the scenes are monologues or interviews with survivors who were employed by Weinstein, including Ashley Judd who plays herself, and the testimonies from these women are compelling and often tough to watch. Yet the writing also includes short scenes of the reporters’ personal lives, a departure from the films that inspired She Said, like All the President’s Men, which largely ignores Woodward and Bernstein’s home lives. In She Said, we get to see these reporters as mothers and women outside of their remarkable professionalism.

These more personal scenes include the kind of everyday microaggressions that women face. A man approaches them at a bar uninvited, they take cabs home after work because walking the streets might be too dangerous, and they are hyper-aware of which routes the cab drivers take to get to their destinations. The point is that while Weinstein’s most bombastic behavior may have been uncovered, the everyday paper cuts of womanhood in America persist.

The performances are all pitch perfect. Samantha Morton and Jennifer Ehle are gut-wrenching in supporting roles, but the stars Kazan and Mulligan hold the film together.

The only downside is the film’s staid cinematography. Spotlight suffers the same issue where most of the shots are static medium shots, and the all-too-few tracking shots add movement and energy to the drama. But this can be forgiven because anything more flashy might have distracted from the subject matter.

She Said is a vital and important film and a must-see during 2022’s awards season.