The Post: Film Review

I love Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks separately so having them all collaborating on a movie is the dream, not to mention the fact that it is a movie about journalism! This ticks the boxes for me so much.

Streep plays Kay Graham, America’s first female newspaper publisher at the Washington Post in the early ’70s. The newspaper has been in the family for years and it has been handed down to her following her husband’s death. She is about to take the company public and she’s not supposed to do anything radical, but her editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) has got hold of some of the Pentagon Papers and wants to publish, even though the U.S. government got an injunction against The New York Times to stop them writing more reports from the classified documents, which reveals the government involvement in the Vietnam War.

This may be set in the 1970s but it couldn’t feel more relevant. It really examines the relationship between the government and press and highlights the importance of the freedom of the press. The New York Times and Washington Post essentially have to go up against the government in court to prove they have a right to report on the documents, and other such information about them, no matter how negative.

It is also equally timely given the whole #MeToo and Time’s Up movement in terms of how women are treated in the workplace. Graham always has men breathing down her neck, telling her how she should run the newspaper, and in the beginning, she listens to them and lets them speak on her behalf because she isn’t confident in own opinions. This changes throughout the course of the movie and she finally leans into her role as boss and stands her ground.

She is faced with an impossible decision – to publish and maybe make the small-time Washington Post stand out and make its name in the national news? Or publish and maybe lose the paper that has been in the family for generations? Graham is totally torn, in the middle of a tug of war between the board and the reporters, and Streep is tremendous in portraying that. Hanks is always good, but this is Streep’s movie. There is also great support from Carrie Coon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bob Odenkirk, Jesse Plemons and Sarah Paulson.

The Post portrays a really interesting time in history and it is fascinating. I particularly liked the use of real Richard Nixon’s tapes, it just gives the story that edge of authenticity. It’s not quite as shocking and hard-hitting as recent journalism dramas like Spotlight but it’s certainly up there with All the President’s Men and I was engrossed in it completely.

In cinemas Friday 19th January 

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