The second film in my 2018 Oscars Challenge is Steven Spielberg’s The Post.
Spielberg works in conjunction with writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer to bring the story of the Vietnam War, a cover-up that spanned four presidencies, and the United States’ first female newspaper publisher and an editor who defy the government in the name of the public’s right to know.
It all begins with American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, who realizes the large scope of the government’s deception about U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Disgusted by what he finds, Ellsberg copies highly classified documents regarding the war, which would later be known as the Pentagon Papers. Meanwhile, newspaper publisher, Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), is adjusting to taking over ownership of The Washington Post from her late husband.
An editor at The Washington Post, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), discovers The New York Times has a bombshell exposé on the Pentagon Papers and is determined to compete. In doing so, Bradlee and his cohorts find Ellsberg himself, who provides them with a full copy of the papers. This sets the stage for a battle at home. A battle against a government that doesn’t want the public to know what’s truly going on in Vietnam. A battle for freedom of the press. A battle for the future of newspapers and journalism as a whole.
The Post was, unequivocally, one of my favorite films of the year. I may be a tad biased, of course, given my affinity for journalism and history. Whether the film was purposely released at this time or not, it came at a highly pertinent moment in our history. A time when freedom of the press is constantly under attack. Streep and Hanks provide sensational performances, as we have come to expect from them. The pair had an exquisite chemistry and would often play off each other. In fact, the ensemble of cast members provide brilliant performances.
The film itself had all the hallmarks of a classic Spielberg film. Who knew that a decades old story about some government documents could be this enthralling? Spielberg, Streep, Hanks, et. al. bring this story to life as only they can. The Post is my choice for Best Picture.
I Give It An: A+
Check Out the Trailer Here