If The Post has nothing else, it is timely. Luckily for us, the film is so much more than that.
The Post is the latest film from Academy Award winning director Steven Spielberg and boasts one of the most star studded casts of 2017. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of The Washington Post, and Ben Bradlee, the Post’s editor, respectively. The movie follows their journey to breaking the story held within the pages of The Pentagon Papers, which were important reports that held critical, scandalous information related the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. It also chronicles the power that The Washington Post gains through beating The New York Times to the story.
The film itself is a gem. I loved every second of this slow born against a corrupt administration headed by a president who sought to hold nothing less than absolute power. If you’re a fan of The West Wing, you’ll find yourself enthralled by the back and forth dialogue between characters like Graham and Bradlee, who have an interesting and sometimes combative relationship. Graham is collected, while Bradlee can seem brash.
Graham herself is portrayed with poise and grace by one of the greatest actresses of our time, Meryl Streep. Streep brings a subtle flair of quiet confidence to the role. I thought the film did Graham a great justice by showing that she had the capability to lead in a field predominantly controlled by men. She is talked down to and belittled until she realizes that she truly holds the reins. It’s an excellent snap in her character from indecisiveness to outright bravery when *spoiler alert but not really* she gives the go ahead to publish the world changing story.
The plot itself flows so naturally against the often low saturation color palette that the cinematographer chose. The story isn’t one that I knew personally, though I did know of The Pentagon Papers. As I walked into the theater to watch, I found myself surrounded by people who were likely my age or a little older during the actual events of the movie. I never worked up the courage to ask someone to admit their age and tell how the news was really thought of during the actual events of the film.
The Post is important and cements Streep as a frontrunner for her fourth Academy Award. In a cultural climate where the people don’t trust the press more than ever before, Spielberg’s film comes along as a reminder of how important good journalism is. The Post teaches that above all, we should seek the truth. We must break through our own biases and discover what the press of the past has to teach us.
(I own no photos)