Review: The Post

In this current political climate, Steven Spielberg’s The Post is as timely as any movie could be. The story follows Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), publisher at The Washington Post, and her staff during a pivotal time in the papers history as well as U.S history.

After the publication of The Pentagon Papers by the New York Times, a battle between journalist and the government starts. Meanwhile, Graham is taking The Washington Post public. Graham’s decision to post The Pentagon Papers could have legal consequences for those involved, and impact the future of The Washington Post.

The brilliance of The Post is its ability to convey how threatening Nixon and his administration were without actually showing them. The story carries the weight and seriousness of the moment the same way 2015’s Spotlight told a story of child molestation without having it in the film. Its mature approach to filmmaking that says Spielberg trusts the audience is smart enough to figure out what’s happening – currently having history repeat itself helps as well.

Meryl Streep continues to be one of the greatest actors of our lifetime. She gives another strong performance as Kay Graham. Streep isn’t just playing a decision maker; she’s playing a woman trying to find her place in a male dominated world. Often, powerful women in film are portrayed as cold and calculated. There’s a warmth to Streep’s performance that shows Graham as a person and not just a hard-nosed boss.

Tom Hanks plays Graham’s editor, Ben Bradlee and he’s flanked by Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Sarah Paulson, Alison Brie, Jesse Plemons, and David Cross. Hanks and Streep are two all-stars playing with a great supporting cast along with a great director. It’s literally cat-nip for the Academy.

There are plenty of great scenes throughout this film. One that stood out the most involves Graham confronting her friend Robert (Bruce Greenwood) about his involvement in The Pentagon Papers. This scene defines what the film is – the intersection between friendship, trust, accountability, and doing what’s right.

The Post is the sort of newsroom procedural film people love – it has great actors, a timely story, and a few reminders of why journalist can be some of the most important voices in our country. Plenty of people will be drawn to this story because of the immediate comparisons between Nixon’s lunatic warpath in 1971 and what we’re seeing from our current administration during press briefings and on social media today.

Grade: B+