Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and, Zach Woods
Rated: PG-13 for “language and brief war violence”
Run Time: 1h 55min
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
The post is a drama by Steven Spielberg about the ever-respected newspaper The Washington Post. Spielberg has made on hell of a film that all American should see because what happened in 1976 is happening again today. At the heart of the story is how an American president once tried to use the power of the White House to take the freedoms promised to the American people in The Constitution, away from us. Chief among them, the freedom of the press but indirectly, the freedom of speech. Sound familiar?
The Washington Post is trying to beat their rival paper, the New York Times on getting the full story of and be the first to publish what’s going on with many leaked documents known as the Pentagon Papers. These documents have put the Nixon administration in some trouble and they’re on high alert. The papers, which were secretly copied and leaked, contained evidence that the U.S. government had misled the public regarding our involvement in the Vietnam War. Washington Post owner, Kay Graham (Streep) and her editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) are relentless in their pursuit of the truth and their performances keep you riveted from the moment they step up to the plate. They carry the story of these journalist’s trying to ensure the paper they run, and the public they represent, get a fair and fighting chance. The script and score work together to do what may surprise you considering the fact that it’s a story about journalism, which is consume you and keep your interest the entire time. The supporting cast does a great job of aiding in Spielberg’s efforts to bring you a timeless and thrilling reminder of what we almost lost and could lose at a moment’s notice.
The film takes you in several directions, being different things to different people, depending on how you’re viewing the film. If you’re resisting what Trump stands for then The Post may help you see that there’s a chance for victory. If you’re in the theatre because you were a fan of All the Presidents Men, you get the investigation you’re looking for in their battle to publish. Speaking of All the President’s Men, if you’re curious, Hanks is a fitting Bradlee. He’s no Jason Robards but he’s persuasive and ornery enough to take on the White House for his rights as an editor, the paper’s right to publish and for the right of the people to know the truth.
Graham, regardless of being the owner of the paper, faces chauvinism at every turn. Her father left the paper to her husband when he died but now that her husband has passed away, the Post belongs to her. She’s respected by some but now when it comes to making decisions like taking the paper public, she’s questioned. She also sees publishing the Pentagon Papers as just the thing the Post needs to grow and no one in the boardroom wants to listen to her on either point. Streep is marvelous as she defies what they suggest, ignores the White House no matter the threat, even going to court and does what’s best for the people. Unbeknownst to her, she gives young women across the country someone to look up to.
See The Post this weekend, don’t wait for in-home watching. It’s that good. The final scene of the film is the beginning of Watergate and we know the hand the Post had there. After watching this, you’ll reach the conclusion that it’s nice to know they’re still in the game.
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