In June 1971 The New York Times, the Washington Post and the nation's major
newspapers took a brave stand for freedom of speech and reported on the
Pentagon Papers, the massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned
four decades and four US Presidents. At the time, the Post's Katherine
Graham (Streep) was still finding her footing as the country's first female
newspaper publisher, and Ben Bradlee (Hanks), the paper's volatile, driven
editor, was trying to enhance the stature of the struggling, local paper.
Together, the two formed an unlikely team, as they were forced to come
together and make the bold decision to support The New York Times and fight
the Nixon Administration's unprecedented attempt to restrict the first
For every fantasy film that Stephen Spielberg directs he likes to
compensate by giving us a history lesson, Munich, Lincoln and Amistad are
just a few that come to mind. Now add The Post to that list.
Always watchable thanks to great performances by Tom Hanks and Meryl
Streep, The Post does at times tend to get bogged down in its own
complexity. Drift away for a second you’ll find yourself scratching your
head wondering what’s happening.
Hanks and Streep have a great time playing off each other, Hanks, as the
papers executive editor, is the one that’s convinced that the story must be
published. Whilst Streep, who as the owner of the paper, is torn between
her obligations to her shareholders and siding with her executive editor, a
decision she knows, if she makes it, could ultimately prove ruinous for her
and her paper
Period detail, as is always the case, in Spielberg films, is impeccable,
every scene feels as if it’s steeped in 70s history.
The Posts complex and slow story won’t be to everyone’s liking however if
you’re a fan of Spielberg’s previous takes on American History then there’s
no doubt that you’ll find a lot in The Post to like.