I’m continuing my sweep through the Best Film Nominations for the Academy Awards (6 out 9 watched now), with The Post.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this is a story about press freedom in Vietnam era America. Opening with a bloody firefight in the jungle of Vietnam, the aftermath is captured in a top-secret report filed away in Washington.
Like an early-seventies Snowden, the truth wants out and the report finds its way to the hands of the press who are involved in their own battle of the Titans, The New York Times vs The Washington Post – owned by Katherine Graham (played by Meryl Streep) and edited by Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks).
And so, the battle plays out between the newsrooms, the courts and most importantly across the smoky dining tables where deals are done.
I enjoyed this movie, it clipped along at a good pace and felt like it was fast moving despite not having any ‘action’ scenes. Tom Hanks is believable as the editor, at home in the world of typewriters and hot metal press. Meryl Streep plays the widowed Kay Graham brilliantly, slightly vacant at times and seemingly in a world where money means you don’t have to connect as much.
My only concern in the story was the ending which I will not spoil – but I don’t think that Streep’s character was utterly convincing in her actions, it all seemed a little convenient to me. That said, the dovetail into the story ‘All the Presidents Men’ is excellent, where Jason Robards will pick up the part of Ben Bradlee. (Reminder to self – put that on the list for a rewatch!)
That said, The Post is beautiful to look at and artfully directed. The early seventies really comes alive in the newsrooms, with no computers and paper ruling the roost. The parallels to the press freedom debates of today are clearly writ, and it seems that Spielberg is keen to let that play on the screen.
Overall. 8/10. IMDb.