Steven Spielberg’s The Post is a rallying cry for journalist everywhere, as its political themes couldn’t have been more timely.
In our current political era that constantly screams ‘fake news,’ this is a film that reminds our audience the vital power of journalism and seeking out the truth. With the rising tensions of our polarizing political climate, director Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and Lincoln) wanted to have his film released as quickly as possible given the parallels between its theme to the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. According to Meryl Streep, the physical shoot started in May 2017 and finished at the end of July 2017 and Spielberg had it cut two weeks later. The gestation from script to final cut lasted a modest nine months. Yes, you heard that right, nine months. This speaks volumes on Spielberg’s effort to get out the timely movie to the general public and to remind us the critical notion of journalism that’s currently under fire.
“The level of urgency to make the movie was because of the current climate of this administration, bombarding the press and labeling the truth as fake if it suited them,” Spielberg said to journalist Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian. “I deeply resented the hash-tag ‘alternative facts,' because I’m a believer in only one truth, which is the objective truth.” This is the point that Spielberg was trying to hammer at and in the end; he managed to pull it off. His film is now nominated for two Oscars – Best Picture and Best Actress for Meryl Streep. The Post is a triumphant film revolving around strong journalism and the power to hold our government accountable. Led by two strong leads, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, The Post comes ready to report. This period setting embodies everything bad and ugly from the Nixon administration.
The Post depicts the true story of The Washington Post journalists (Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee) and their attempts to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents regarding the 30-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War. Watch as The Post's Graham (a superb Streep, as always), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Bradlee (the never better Hanks), race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades (1945 to 1967) and four U.S. Presidents (Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ and Nixon). As Graham and Bradlee race against the clock to publish the underlining truth, they also put their careers in jeopardy.
A slow burning film that packs a punch when the wheels start turning, The Post is a masterfully crafted film. Actors Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Carrie Coon, Bruce Greenwood and Alison Brie also help carry the film to perfection. A dramatization of the events that unfolded with a hint of melodrama, The Post sheds light on accountability and the newspaper’s responsibility for spreading veracity to the American people. It’s a brilliant film that shares a passionate message between the free press and the people. It receives all five stars from me. So, the next time you hear someone, high up, yelling ‘fake news!’ take it in with a grain of salt. After that, check your sources, compare them with other news outlets and always continue to read, read, read.
The Post is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For language and brief war violence.