This Spielberg/Streep/Hanks collaboration is well deserving of its Best Film Oscar nomination.
It may have just fallen shy of this year’s major players – Three Billboards, Lady Bird and The Shape of Water – but seeing the stellar acting force of Meryl Streep (who also garnered an Academy Award nom) and Tom Hanks is worth the admission price alone.
Steven Spielberg helms the duo in this biographical political drama that chronicles the cover-up that spanned four US Presidents and pushed the country’s first female publisher, Kay Graham (Streep) of the Washington Post, and its hard-driving editor, Ben Bradlee (Hanks), to battle the government in publishing the legendary top-secret Pentagon Papers.
After the New York Times drew first blood by writing initial articles about the report – which showed The White House had lied about their involvement in the Vietnam War – a Federal Court prevented them from publishing further articles.
But when Bradlee’s right-hand man Ben Bagdikian (Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk) locates the ‘in-hiding’ American military analyst Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) – who leaked the papers in the first place –Graham has to make a decision whether to gazump the Times by re-commencing the revelations.
The only problem is Graham has just taken the paper public on the Stock Exchange, and has to not only make the decision to back her editor – who is looking to go to press with the story despite a restraining order that could get them indicted for contempt – but make sure potential investors in the publication are not left disillusioned by the Vietnam War expose.
What unfolds is a taught and tense movie that is generally enthralling from start to finish, despite sometimes giving away its rushed production time with some choppy editing and quick scripting.
It doesn’t quite go as in-depth with the scandal as some viewers may expect, but there’s no denying that Streep and Hanks – along with a noteworthy supporting cast – under the tutelage of Spielberg still print a headline story, with some stellar work.
With a touch more care and attention it could have really got among this year’s awards time big-hitters – but as it stands The Post still strongly delivers.
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Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Bradley Whitford, Tracy Letts, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, David Cross, Carrie Coon, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Alison Brie & Michael Stuhlbarg
Running Time: 1 Hr 56 Mins
Director: Steven Spielberg
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