The wounds inflicted on many women in the film industry are far from healed; the story – of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation, abuse and bullying – is still unfolding (a sexual assault trial is ongoing). But Maria Schrader’s taut drama about the New York Times investigation by two reporters, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), feels as exhaustive and thorough as it’s possible to be, given that the full extent of the producer’s crimes remains unknown. This sobering procedural follows the dogged work by the two women, a war of attrition against the fear and power structures that contained the truth about Weinstein for so long.
Both Mulligan and Kazan are excellent, but equally impressive are a series of supporting turns from Samantha Morton, Jennifer Ehle and – playing herself in a wrenching scene – Ashley Judd. Schrader’s sensitive, unshowy approach to the directing choices is a smart decision; this is a film that is respectful of and in service to the stories of the women. It’s telling that the score, the one overly assertive element in an otherwise subtly efficient film, is the most jarring aspect.