The Post was nominated as Best Film in the Oscars and Golden Globes. In a way it is a prequel to the film we showed at the Film Festival as a Classic, All The President’s Men, also being about The Washington Post but this time its fight to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed secrets about the US involvement in Vietnam, in 1968. Katharine Graham, the publisher of The Post, who was left out of All The President’s Men, is here played by Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks replaces Jason Robards as the Editor of the newspaper, Ben Bradlee. Steven Spielberg made and released the film in record time as a critique of the current state of US Government and the questioning of the press’s role in the creation of ‘fake news’.
It is a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and Bradlee, as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. Hollywood loves a drama about a newspaper doing its job to bring truth to the people and this is a pacy, beautifully directed addition to the genre.
It is a classic study in modulating the mood of an audience. Observe, for instance, how Spielberg handles key exchanges in the 11th hour of this conflict by elevating the uncertainties of the situation. Watch as the men in the press room are huddled around the phone waiting for the signal to turn the machines on – assuming it will ever come. And notice how he allows the music to build and then move to a sudden silence as the faces of his key players are moved into swift close-ups. We react strongly because the skill of his direction encourages our investment. That he marries it all with sincere performances and insightful dialogue only enforces the meaning. Here is a movie that is important for all the reasons you’ve undoubtedly heard about but is also something few of us could have expected: genuinely exciting.
Click below for reviews and further information.
Venue: William Loveless Hall