Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), 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.
This one shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. A movie directed by Steven Spielberg starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks is really good. My expectations for The Post were obviously rather high and it didn’t disappoint. Spielberg could easily write a textbook on filmmaking and that also happens to be the one word I would use to describe The Post “textbook.”
This movie is full of excellent and textbook direction by Spielberg and fantastic performances by everyone involved. There is one scene in particular that sticks out to me with Meryl Streep and Bruce Greenwood’s character where Spielberg uses such fantastic camera work that it ups the tension in what was already a white knuckled scene. This film is full of just outstanding camera work that can only be expected from a seasoned pro like Spielberg.
One of the problems that can arise from having big name actors like Hanks and Streep is that you can tend to see the star rather than the character they are portraying. Not a problem here as they both just disappear into their roles. This entire ensemble is really outstanding Bob Odenkirk and Jesse Plemons were the main scene stealers to me as they even have a great scene together.
The Post has a massive cast and sometimes it just gets a bit jumbled up. It is easy to forget who someone is because many of the characters are the same in nature. There is also a longer than needed amount of time debating on whether or not the paper should publish this story and deal with the consequences. This is obviously the main conflict in the movie, but some scenes feel like they are just reiterating what we saw before.
The Post has very few problems, and tells a true story that is surprisingly not been adapted for film before. With names like Spielberg, Streep and Hanks involved it’s hard not to expect something special. The Post is a textbook on non-fiction filmmaking and how movies should be made.