Political thrillers are easily my least favourite of the genre, but I do love Spielberg and it's basically impossible to pass a movie of his when it stars both Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and it's praised by everyone. So expectations were sky high and The Post, while it still is a pretty good film, didn't meet them.
Set in the 1970s, the film tells the true story of the journalists from The Washington Post and their attempt to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents which detail the United States government involvement in Vietnam even prior to the war.
Perhaps I'm speaking as a foreigner who knows very little about this, actually, it's more like nothing, but that's the kind of story that needs to be told and it's indeed very interesting. There are some dull moments but the overall pace was good enough to keep my attention through most of the film.
Spielberg's movie doesn't only focus on the political and financial risks of publishing that kind of documents, but on the difficulties Catherine Graham, the paper's owner, faces because she is a woman as well, because apparently, women aren't as good as men. While showing how hard it is to be a woman in a man's world, The Post also shows how important we, women, are to society. And honestly, it does a better job than Battle of the Sexes.
I think it's needless to say that The Post also defends the freedom of the press and celebrates the search for truth. Also needless to say is how relatable that is in the times we live, when a 'man' like Trump is the leader of the free world. It does, however, have a flaw: the discussion about the freedom of speech is not as powerful as I was hoping.
|20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures|
What truly elevates this film is the acting. Meryl Streep gives a great performance as Catherine Graham, capturing both her vulnerability and strength. She doesn't always come off sympathetic though and hers is far from being the best performance of 2017 hence I really hope she doesn't win the Oscar. Tom Hanks gives a solid performance as Ben Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post. But again, nothing stellar/Oscar worthy. Bob Odenkirk as assistant editor Ben Bagdikian and Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee are also noteworthy.
The cinematography is quite good too. The colours, the lighting, they really help give the film the right atmosphere and build some tension. John Williams's score is quite beautiful but it doesn't always work.