Spielberg's 'The Post' revives the thrill in political thrillers

Spielberg's 'The Post' revives the thrill in political thrillers

Even though the themes are weighty and the parallels are provocative, my takeaway resembled what Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) growls at one point in the newsroom: "My God, the fun". A bit more subtly - and maybe pointed at journalists today - it touches on how Bradlee may have also had political conflicts of interest. In his mind, the story always comes first. You can't help but be moved when seeing those rows of newspapers coming off the presses, loaded onto delivery trucks and thrown in stacks out to the newsstands, bringing the truth to the public.

The movie takes place in 1971. Among the biggest revelations: USA leaders knew that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable but kept sending troops to Southeast Asia, to kill and be killed. Why not tag as "fake news" the injunction sought by the Justice Department against The New York Times?

The film tells the story of the Pentagon Papers, classified documents about the Vietnam War that were leaked to The New York Times, who was barred by the Nixon Administration from reporting on the story.

I really liked "The Post". Hanks has fun as the tough but compassionate Bradlee and Streep adds another outstanding performance to her already fantastic resume.

Graham played a vital role in history, not just because she was the first female publisher in the country, but because of making this hard decision to publish the papers and the information they contained about the Vietnam War, despite government officials and lawyers trying to deter her from doing so. It's fitting of Streep's current role in Hollywood's #MeToo moment.

Marcil, former longtime publisher of The Forum and chairman of Forum Communications Co., knew Graham as Kay. Her father had given the paper to her husband and when he committed suicide, she took control.

This film is crammed full of Academy Award winners. Maybe you've heard of him?

But Spielberg couldn't have known that "The Post" would connect even more deeply with another national conversation in 2017, that of the #MeToo movement, of women speaking out against sexism and harassment. 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the last time he was behind the camera for a fantasy adventure (although he will return to the genre next year in Ready Player One). The Post reveals yet another Spielberg: Message Spielberg.

"That speech spoke to so many people, and roused so many people because we realise how starved we are for a person who speaks, a leader who speaks and raises the best in us and asks us to live by the principles upon which our country is based", said Streep.

Back at the newspaper, Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) is chasing down sources and trying to get his hands on the actual papers. He gives off a "too old to screw around" vibe. Now it was up to Katharine Graham whether to risk violating the court order by publishing the papers in the Post. The film is a tribute to the people that do good work and are willing to hold the powerful accountable. It pains me to say it, but, as staged, the movie's penultimate moment is not 100 percent corn-free. "I think what's important is when you're making a movie, particularly this one which can be about some heavy stuff, you have to remind people that in real life, in the darkest times, we have to laugh".

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