DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
Oscar season is upon you and with that comes films that scream Oscar bait. Pick me. Pick me Mr. Oscar. The Post says it all. It has the director in Steven Spielberg, the regular Oscar go – to’s Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The best of all three categories directing, best actor, best actress. While you have films like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri wanting an Oscar, will The Post by default win all categories because of the reputation of the stars within it?
You watch the film that plays out in Washington, 1970’s as the city’s newspaper Washington Post pushes to publish the articles explaining the Pentagon Papers. These documents are leaked, and detail government lies and deception about the Vietnam War.
The paper is run by heiress Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) and operated by editor in chief Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). The film is reliable as a drama that explores the cut throat world of journalism and networking with who you know in the political arena. At its core Bradlee wants Graham to make a decision over her stake for keeping friendship or valuing truth.
I have to admit, I walked into the cinema thinking I’d be watching a tense political thriller, I got a strong political drama that aims to use the 1970’s political backdrop as an allegory for what is happening in contemporary times. There is nothing wrong with the film, it hits the moments of characters needing to make their own “right choices”, it gives a complete novice a history lesson and allows a ticket holder to understand how journalism works.
Meryl Streep plays her character well, a reactive shy woman who needs to grow in her choices. You watch her in a room full of men in most scenes, controlling her performance whether it be with Tom Hanks, Bradley Whitford or Bruce Greenwood.
Tom Hanks as Bradlee has more dialogue and quick witted. He wants things done at any cost and will not be shy about it. Bradlee is intelligent and at times confronting and it’s a treat to watch Hanks seek demands from Streep while sharing the screen.
The Times has 7,000 pages detailing how the White House has been lying about the Vietnam War for 30 years.
The way they lied, those days have to be over.
The Post is a well orchestrated piece of music. It isn’t Spielberg’s best because it can be slightly too self aware at times. Overall it is strong and asks the viewers questions and leaves you with the answer amongst this 120 minute journey.
Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham
Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee
Bruce Greenwood as Robert McNamara
Tracy Letts as Fritz Beebe