Rating: 4.5/5 Meryl Streep Oscars
Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” is a riveting, informative and timely love letter to journalism and the First Amendment.
The film primarily focuses on Katherine Graham, portrayed by Meryl Streep, the first female publisher of The Washington Post. Graham and determined editor Ben Bradlee, portrayed by Tom Hanks, grapple with whether or not to release the Pentagon Papers, a confidential cover-up of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam between 1945 and 1967. Releasing the Pentagon Papers could spell the end of The Washington Post, as well as land anyone involved in prison. As Graham and Bradlee realize, the truth cannot be silenced.
Streep gives a masterful performance as Graham, perfectly capturing the immense pressure of proving herself in a male-dominated workplace, and deciding whether or not to publish potentially life-changing information about government lies to the American people.
Hanks also gives a solid performance, convincingly showcasing Bradlee’s unwavering integrity and dry sense of humor.
While the central story itself would have been enough to recommend “The Post,” Spielberg goes above and beyond with his directing. Spielberg presents this story in an elaborate, highly cinematic way.
The camera glides smoothly throughout every environment, drifting elegantly from office to office in The Washington Post newsroom, while sounds of clicking typewriters resonate in the background.
This particular “Hollywood” treatment successfully ratchets up the tension. Viewers are unable to avert their eyes from the screen, marveling at the perfectly-framed shot compositions while also being completely enveloped in the relevant, tense proceedings.
“The Post” isn’t immune to Spielberg’s occasionally blatant sentimentality, especially concerning Graham in the latter half of the film, but this doesn’t lessen the film’s dramatic impact.
While certain characters give prolonged monologues near the conclusion of the film, viewers can overlook their heavy-handed nature and enjoy the raw acting on display.
Spielberg’s film entertains as both a suspenseful retelling of an extraordinary true story, and a timely ode to journalistic integrity and freedom of the press.
No matter viewers’ political standings, “The Post” should satisfy anyone interested in investigative journalism and top-notch acting and is an incredibly significant film that everyone should see as soon as possible.