This film has all the hallmarks of being a great movie: great leading actress, great leading actor, great director and based on a true story. And it delivers on its promise. It's a Steven Spielberg film so you know it is going to be good. He brought us sci-fi classics such as Encounters of the Third Kind and ET, blockbusters such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park, and he is still delivering quality movies.
The Post is set during the Vietnam War, a time of hippies (think tie-dyed clothes) and protests. But don't expect another Saving Private Ryan from Spielberg: it's definitely not a war story, despite the high impact opening. It's an exciting drama set in Washington during Richard Nixon's presidency (pre-Watergate scandal).
It stars Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, The Washington Post's first female publisher. Her co-star is Tom Hanks as her editor, Ben Bradlee. Surprisingly, this is the first time they have acted together in a film. The interactions and tension is dynamic and I hope we see them together on the big screen again soon. The Post is an intriguing exposé of Top Secret documents from the Pentagon. It revolves around the publishing industry versus politicians, their lies and cover-ups. Sound familiar? Although the events occurred decades ago, it will resonate with modern audiences who may draw parallels with recent stories of whistle-blowers, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. To the government (The White House) it is all about relations and propaganda: covert operations, rigged elections, lying to the public and lying to Congress. To the newspaper business (the Washington Post of the title and the iconic New York Times) it is about quality and profitability. Therein is the conflict.
If we or the press don't hold the politicians accountable, who will? Freedom of speech clashes with national security. As Ben Bradley says, "The only way to assert the rights to publish, is to publish". Is it espionage? Who will risk gaol and who will risk their fortunes? Will they disclose their sources? This is a dramatic portrayal of historical events and I found it gripping. Let me know your opinion.
The film has been nominated for six Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
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