It was an era of corruption, lies, leaked documents, “fake news”, and a Presidential administration challenging the 1st amendment. It was a time of journalists fighting for integrity while exposing a scandal that shook the halls of power. And no, I’m not speaking of our current political climate. Steven Spielberg‘s The Post is the Academy Award nominated docudrama that follows the exploits of the Washington Post as it waded through the Pentagon Papers, nearly 4,000 pages of documents exposing the Nixon administration and others as they kept throwing soldiers into the meat grinder that was the unwinnable war in Vietnam. It is a gripping film with a lot of heart, and mirrors much of what is happening in America right now. It is about fighting for American ideals and doing what you know to be right despite the possible consequences. It is also the story of WaPo publisher Katharine Graham fighting to be heard in the boy’s club of newspaper journalism in the 70s.
Spielberg proves once again that he is a vital filmmaker with a singular vision and the skills to bring that vision to the screen. Working from a script by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post is a master class in filmmaking; a thrilling piece of cinema that keeps you on the edge of your seat even if you already know how the real story turned out. Spielberg alongside frequent collaborator Janusz Kaminski as his DP has created a beautifully and cleverly shot film that is a joy to watch.
That cast tho. Ellen Lewis has assembled a brilliant ensemble starring the commanding Meryl Streep (Kay Graham) and Tom Hanks ( editor Ben Bradlee) as its leads. The two work off of each other wonderfully, alternately butting heads and cheering each other on. They simply own the screen, and I hope to see them together again in the future. There’s the Mr. Show with Bob and David reunion I never saw coming as messrs Odenkirk and Cross bring quite a few chuckles. Sarah Paulsen, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, and Jesse Plemons all give amazing performances that drag you into the story and never let go.
Once again Spielberg has created a gripping political thriller with American values as its heart. The Post is a must see film, especially in the current era where the very same Washington Post is battling the President in a war of words, and keeping their integrity intact. The truth is bigger than any government.
The Post is out on 4K HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on April 17th.