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Ross King: Movie about fearless #MeToo reporters is my early tip for Oscar glory

© Universal PicturesZoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan as journalists in She Said
Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan as journalists in She Said

It’s that time of the year when I’m either in a cinema watching a movie, at home viewing one or on my computer downloading/streaming another.

It’s hard graft but someone has to do it! We’re in the build-up to awards season and I get to vote in the Screen Actors Guild Awards, among a bunch of others.

Sitting in my pyjamas with a Horlicks watching great films? Just one of the many reasons I love my job!

One film I had to rewatch was the brilliant She Said, starring the even more brilliant Carey Mulligan.

Sadly it didn’t do well at the box office here but it will most definitely be around come the handing out of various accolades, and I expect to see Mulligan and co-star Zoe Kazan mentioned in best actor categories.

She Said is the story of the New York Times investigation that exposed producer Harvey Weinstein and stars Mulligan and Kadan as Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, the two incredible reporters who did the legwork. Carey is pals with co-star Zoe, and said: “I can’t imagine ever having done it with anyone else. We’ve known each other for 14 years. Zoe was a bridesmaid at my wedding.”

That closeness and partnership transfers so well to the screen. The pair filmed at the New York Times offices while they were closed during the pandemic.

“It was like being in a room where everyone had been raptured or something, with half-eaten candy bars and people’s shoes under the desk,” says Kazan. “The newsroom was completely empty, and had been for a year and a half.

“All the newspapers were dated 13 March 2020, or something. It was very eerie.”

Mulligan seized the opportunity to tell an important story like She Said, recognising that, even in the wake of #MeToo, women still face sexual harassment and abuse.

“We’re not activists, we’re actors but you only have to open a newspaper today to see that globally things are still pretty dire for women in lots of places,” she said.

“As a woman growing up, you are armed from a very early age against anything like this; you become aware you’re under threat in certain situations.

“That’s pretty universal, and it’s what people connect with in the film: the experiences are so eerily familiar. At screenings, lots of people will say, ‘Oh, well, this thing happened to me, and I’ve never really spoken about it’, or ‘I’ve only just started speaking about it in the last few years.’”

Speaking of awards, I don’t think Apple TV+’s Spirited, starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, will bother the Oscars but it’s one of my favourite movies of the year.

In fact it might be one of the best Christmas movie musicals ever. I phoned my sister at 4am Glasgow time to tell her to watch it, which went down like a lead Christmas pudding.

It’s safe to say I’ll be getting a return phone call at 4am LA time at some point soon..!