The Post is an exercise in cinema greatness through a combination of simply having the best people making the film. A top notch director, Steven Spielberg, a writer and producer behind Best Picture winner Spotlight, and of course a dream worthy ensemble cast that is a draw to see all its own. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep lead an amazing cast as they navigate a true story of government secrets, Vietnam, and perhaps most importantly, freedom of press. Alongside two such legendary actors, Bob Odenkirk stars with Sarah Paulson, Bradley Whitford, Matthew Rhys, Bruce Greenwood, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons and the list goes on. The Post is definitely a contender this awards season and I think there’s little surprise in that.
At this point in his career, Spielberg has mastered his craft from what stories he chooses to the casts that inhabit his worlds, any doubts about his abilities are nonsense and ill founded. Five time collaborator Tom Hanks is of course nothing short of engrossing as he delivers yet another Oscar worthy performance. He works wonderfully with legend of stage and screen, Meryl Streep who is no stranger to carrying such daunting material and delivering without absolute conviction. Bob Odenkirk continues to surprise with his dramatic abilities despite being best known for his funnier side. This is the best ensemble cast I’ve seen in years and is a force to be reckoned with.
The Post tells the true story of government cover-ups spanning over four presidencies and the attempt of quieting the press from exposing their dirty laundry primarily over Vietnam. Streep stars as the head of the Washington Post during a time when women were seen as the secretary or the wife and never the one in charge. Navigating a world of men she must find her way through an issue of freedom of press, holding the government accountable and maintaining the integrity of her family held newspaper all the while being seen as inadequate simply for being a woman. Her most trusted ally is the editor of the Post, Ben Bradlee played by Tom Hanks. Together they uncover papers proving government cover-ups and atrocities committed during the occupation of Vietnam. Threatened with treason and imprisonment, The Post and all of its alumni must decide and weigh the consequences of moving forward with publishing such damning evidence. With the first amendment by their side they decide to fight and thus begins an ugly battle between press and the government that is sworn to be upheld and brought into question when they are lesser.
This is a story this is entertaining but undoubtedly frustrating and unfortunately timely as ever as our government is worse than ever. The only difference now is it seems our government currently doesn’t care about throwing their illicit behavior in the faces of the American people and back in the days of Kennedy and Nixon, they at least tried to keep it hidden. That’s complete dishonesty I know but it just feels more insulting now, as if they’re slapping us all in the face with a glove while delivering some pithy line about how everyone else is wrong and how dare us for questioning them. Understand I’m not advocating the events depicted in this film, I can only relate to what I’ve experienced in my lifetime and from that perspective, they were awful then and now the government is using their behavior as a jumping off point rather than where it escalated to during the 60’s and 70’s. In other words it couldn’t have gotten worse back then, and now our government is saying, “Hold my beer.”
The Post is a political thriller helmed by Spielberg and acted by masters of the acting craft. A film about a newspaper shouldn’t be this exciting and enticing but it is and that is a testament to the talent of all those involved in the making of something that is a film yes but also a necessary story needing to be told. This is cinematic greatness.
Rated PG-13 For: language and brief war violence
Runtime: 116 minutes
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
After Credits Scene: No
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Matthew Rhys
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes
Check out the trailer below:
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