THE POST

Truth Over Silence

Director
Steven Spielberg

Starring
Meryl Streep
Tom Hanks



Following a prologue set during the Vietnam war, reporter Daniel Ellsberg starts smuggling out reports which highlight how the US government was lying about the validity and direction of a potential (and then very real) war in Vietnam. We are later introduced to Washington Post owner, Katharine Graham [Streep], who is taking her company public to ensure its future but simultaneously feels doing so would rob her lineage of control over the paper itself – something her father and grandfather insisted upon. We later learn that Graham was never the intended head of the company, that The Post was left to her husband before he committed suicide. The editor in chief of the paper, Ben Bradlee [Hanks] is performing his duties as normal when he realises that one of The New York Times’ top writers hasn’t had a story for months – which invariably means he is working on some big scoop. It is later revealed that the story in question is an expose about the leaked government documents. Following an injunction from the White House, the Times is told it is not allowed to publish any further findings. Through a combination of investigating and luck, one of Bradlee’s writers come across the papers and both Bradlee and Graham are forced to decide what is more important, the company or the truth.

The central talking point of this release was always going to be twofold: the acting and parallels with the current White House administration. Tackling the former, the script doesn’t offer a great deal to stretch the abilities of those gathered but what is on display is still damn fine entertainment. On the one hand you have Tom Hanks leading the charge of freedom of the press, commanding a pool of outraged writers all of whom are desperate to go after the government for the lies they told in an attempt to make a statement and notable change to how things operate. Hanks’ manner and cadence are brasher than the performances we have become used to but underneath it, he is still operating in the same way he always has in recent years – being a relatable, charming, proactive character with a wise, doting wife who acts as his counsel. The other half is Meryl Streep battling a board of old white men who believe she is not suitable for the position she currently holds, that no woman can take the place of a man; so while trying to retain control of her family’s newspaper for her children and grandchildren, she is making bold practical statements about a woman’s place in business management.

Admittedly, I was initially taken aback by Streep’s portrayal, if only because the advertising failed to convey that Streep’s character lacked a degree of outward confidence and that her unsureness is part of what makes her a compelling individual. The assembled supports are all impressive enough but again nobody is pushed to do anything overtly demanding or outside their experience/expertise; if anything we are left with a conveyor of famous faces that crop up in various roles. I will note though, that Streep’s discussion with her daughter (played by Alison Brie) is very interesting. She talks frankly about her husband’s inheriting of the company, that she didn’t see this as at all unusual. This raises a great deal of comments and questions about the evolution of “a woman’s place”, gender politics and the fact that there is the constant presence of extra scrutiny over her actions, solely because of her gender rather than her capability. It’s a scene that is acted brilliantly but doesn’t say anything new. But then again, maybe it’s not supposed to, maybe it’s just saying the same thing over and over until the mainstream listen and act accordingly. Which, in a way, reflects the general message of the paper’s publishing plot thread: if you have a voice, it is your responsibility to use that voice for the common good.

As can be expected from a film with access to resources of this nature, the production design is magnificent, as are all the period-relevant aspects. Janusz Kaminski’s lights the set pieces superbly, cornering out where one need focus in something like a busy newspaper office with tens of desks, writers and clacking typewriters to distract the eyes. I would also add that The Post contains some of the more creative shots than that of any Spielberg film in recent years. But on the technical front there are a handful of faults, the first is the underwhelming score and some truly questionable CGI, which, considering this is the man who brought us Jurassic Park, is truly bizarre.

As stated earlier, the key take aways from this feature are the performances and the overt jab at the Trump presidency. The Nixon years were rife with protest, hatred, scandal and it all ended rather pitifully but Nixon’s attitude to the press bears a similarity (in all honesty, nothing is similar to what is happening right now) to how Trump shuts out the press and is therefore more relevant than ever. This urgency to get the story out while it reflects contemporary politics serves to highlight one of the biggest causes of the film’s faltering. Saying history is cyclical is nothing new to anyone who knows anything about history but the fact that everyone involved is trying to derail that endless cycle of betrayal and cover-up is extremely admirable. Having said that, the final piece feels a little rushed, from the simplistic characters to the inconsistent VFX to the fact that the choice was made to focus solely on the exploits of The Washington Post alone, rather than being a double-header narrative going back and forth with The New York Times and their germinating story. It could also have helped soften the blow of the Rogue One-esque ending which offers the briefest tease of the Watergate break-in.

In reality, these are only minor problems but they are problems that have no business being present in a film with resources of this calibre and issues at this level downgrade an outstanding film to a merely decent one. With the high profile success of Spotlight I wouldn’t expect this to be the last mainstream release about investigative journalism but in order to push actual change, I think they need to be stronger and significantly bolder – the trouble with that being, the more we get with the same formula, the more diluted the impact will be.


Release Date:
19th January 2018

The Scene To Look Out For:
Streep and Hanks’ first scene together is typically Spielbergian. Both characters of immense power and charm meet in a quaint, unsuspecting setting (having a monthly scheduled breakfast) which starts pleasantly enough but quickly devolves into talking over one another before a very distinct shift in tone causes one to fall silent and analyse the other’s intentions. And the whole thing, up until that emotional crescendo, takes place in a single unbroken shot. It’s far from impactful on the story but it serves as a wonderful introduction to the relationship between these two individuals and shows off just how good everyone involved (in front of and behind the camera) is at their craft.

Notable Characters:
One of the more unsuspecting roles is that of journalist Ben Bagdikian played by Bob Odenkirk. Odenkirk has always been a great comedic actor but when given a dramatic role he really shines. It’s hard to be memorable, let alone standout when competing with the likes of Streep and Hanks but Odenkirk really feels like he bridges the gap between quirky office drama and national secrets thriller.

Highlighted Quote:
“They knew we couldn’t win and they still sent boys to die”

In A Few Words:
“Much like Bridge Of Spies and Lions For Lambs, The Post is a commendable well-performed release but will ultimately make very little impact outside of its initial release”

Total Score:

4/5

Reviews 2018

[18 June 2018] Ocean’s 8 (2018)

[06 June 2018] Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

[24 May 2018] Solo (2018)

[15 May 2018] Deadpool 2 (2018)

[26 April 2018] Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

[10 April 2018] Mary And The Witch’s Flower [Meari To Majo No Hana メアリと魔女の花] (2017)

[05 April 2018] A Quiet Place (2018)

[30 March 2018] Isle Of Dogs (2018)

[28 March 2018] Ready Player One (2018)

[23 March 2018] A Wrinkle In Time (2018)

[22 March 2018] Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)

[14 March 2018] Tomb Raider (2018)

[12 March 2018] Annihilation (2018)

[13 February 2018] Black Panther (2018)

[05 February 2018] I, Tonya (2017)

[02 February 2018] Phantom Thread (2017)

[19 January 2018] Coco (2017)

[18 January 2018] The Post (2017)

[15 January 2018] The Shape Of Water (2017)

[12 January 2018] Darkest Hour (2017)

[04 January 2018] All The Money In The World (2017)

Reviews 2017

[20 December 2017] Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017)

[14 December 2017] Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)

[11 December 2017] Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

[08 December 2017] The Disaster Artist (2017)

[17 November 2017] Justice League (2017)

[09 October 2017] The Death Of Stalin (2017)

[05 October 2017] Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

[20 September 2017] Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

[21 July 2017] Dunkirk (2017)

[14 July 2017] War For The Planet Of The Apes (2017)

[05 July 2017] Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

[22 June 2017] Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

[19 June 2017] Baby Driver (2017)

[09 June 2017] The Mummy (2017)

[01 June 2017] Wonder Woman (2017)

[26 May 2017] Baywatch (2017)

[25 May 2017] Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

[17 May 2017] King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (2017)

[12 May 2017] Alien Covenant (2017)

[28 April 2017] Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

[12 April 2017] The Handmaiden (2016)

[30 March 2017] Ghost In The Shell (2017)

[29 March 2017] The Lost City Of Z (2016)

[27 March 2017] Free Fire (2017)

[26 March 2017] Life (2017)

[24 March 2017] Power Rangers (2017)

[17 March 2017] Beauty And The Beast (2017)

[09 March 2017] Kong: Skull Island (2017)

[01 March 2017] Logan (2017)

[24 February 2017] A Cure For Wellness (2016)

[16 February 2017] The Great Wall (2016)

[10 February 2017] The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

[26 January 2017] Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

[23 January 2017] Moonlight (2016)

[13 January 2017] Live By Night (2016)

[11 January 2017] La La Land (2016)

[09 January 2017] Hidden Figures (2016)

[04 January 2017] Silence (2016)

[01 January 2017] Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Reviews 2016

[21 December 2016] Passengers (2016)

[15 December 2016] Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

[12 December 2016] Manchester By The Sea (2016)

[08 December 2016] Snowden (2016)

[02 December 2016] Moana (2016)

[25 November 2016] Allied (2016)

[18 November 2016] Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (2016)

[11 November 2016] Arrival (2016)

[25 October 2016] Doctor Strange (2016)

[14 October 2016] Inferno (2016)

[06 October 2016] The Girl On The Train (2016)

[19 September 2016] War On Everyone (2016)

[09 September 2016] Kubo And The Two Strings (2016)

[05 August 2016] Suicide Squad (2016)

[29 July 2016] Finding Dory (2016)

[27 July 2016] Jason Bourne (2016)

[22 July 2016] Star Trek Beyond (2016)

[10 July 2016] Ghostbusters (2016)

[08 July 2016] The Legend Of Tarzan (2016)

[04 July 2016] Now You See Me 2 (2016)

[24 June 2016] Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

[30 May 2016] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (2016)

[29 May 2016] Warcraft (2016)

[27 May 2016] Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016)

[18 May 2016] X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

[29 April 2016] Captain America: Civil War (2016)

[14 April 2016] The Jungle Book (2016)

[04 April 2016] The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

[29 March 2016] Midnight Special (2016)

[25 March 2016] Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

[18 March 2016] High-Rise (2016)

[11 March 2016] The Witch (2015)

[10 February 2016] Deadpool (2016)

[29 January 2016] Spotlight (2015)

[18 January 2016] The Big Short (2015)

[08 January 2016] The Hateful Eight (2015)

[04 January 2016] The Revenant (2015)

Reviews 2015

[29 December 2015] In The Heart Of The Sea (2015)

[17 December 2015] Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

[14 December 2015] Room (2015)

[11 December 2015] The Ridiculous 6 (2015)

[24 November 2015] Bridge Of Spies (2015)

[19 November 2015] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II (2015)

[12 November 2015] Steve Jobs (2015)

[26 October 2015] Spectre (2015)

[17 October 2015] Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

[16 October 2015] Crimson Peak (2015)

[30 September 2015] The Martian (2015)

[27 September 2015] Macbeth (2015)

[17 September 2015] Bill (2015)

[09 September 2015] Legend (2015)

[28 August 2015] Straight Outta Compton (2015)

[24 August 2015] Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015)

[06 August 2015] Fantastic Four (2015)

[04 August 2015] Trainwreck (2015)

[29 July 2015] Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

[24 July 2015] Inside Out (2015)

[23 July 2015] Southpaw (2015)

[17 July 2015] Ant-Man (2015)

[16 July 2015] Self/Less (2015)

[02 July 2015] Terminator Genisys (2015)

[25 June 2015] Slow West (2015)

[11 June 2015] Jurassic World (2015)

[14 May 2015] Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

[24 April 2015] Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

[31 March 2015] John Wick (2015)

[05 February 2015] Jupiter Ascending (2015)

[19 January 2015] Selma (2014)

[06 January 2015] Foxcatcher (2014)

[02 January 2015] Birdman (2014)

Reviews 2014

[26 December 2014] Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014)

[12 December 2014] The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014)

[01 December 2014] Whiplash (2014)

[19 November 2014] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I (2014)

[06 November 2014] Interstellar (2014)

[09 October 2014] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

[07 October 2014] The Maze Runner (2014)

[01 October 2014] Gone Girl (2014)

[26 August 2014] Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

[12 August 2014] What If (2013)

[30 July 2014] Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

[14 July 2014] Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)

[10 July 2014] How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

[09 July 2014] Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)

[29 May 2014] Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

[23 May 2014] X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

[14 May 2014] Godzilla (2014)

[22 April 2014] Calvary (2014)

[16 April 2014] The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

[27 March 2014] The Double (2013)

[24 March 2014] Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

[06 March 2014] The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

[04 March 2014] 300: Rise Of An Empire (2014)

[13 February 2014] The Lego Movie (2014)

[11 February 2014] The Book Thief (2013)

[04 February 2014] Robocop (2014)

[15 January 2014] The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

[09 January 2014] Twelve Years A Slave (2013)

[01 January 2014] American Hustle (2013)

Reviews 2013

[11 December 2013] The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

[10 December 2013] The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

[26 November 2013] Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013)

[20 November 2013] The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

[12 November 2013] Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

[28 October 2013] Thor: The Dark World (2013)

[23 October 2013] Gravity (2013)

[03 September 2013] Riddick (2013)

[02 September 2013] Rush (2013)

[21 August 2013] Elysium (2013)

[12 August 2013] Kick Ass 2 (2013)

[07 August 2013] Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

[06 August 2013] The Lone Ranger (2013)

[05 August 2013] Pain And Gain (2013)

[31 July 2013] Only God Forgives (2013)

[24 July 2013] The Wolverine (2013)

[18 July 2013] The World’s End (2013)

[11 July 2013] Monsters University (2013)

[10 July 2013] Pacific Rim (2013)

[04 July 2013] Despicable Me 2 (2013)

[03 July 2013] Now You See Me (2013)

[27 June 2013] This Is The End (2013)

[25 June 2013] The Internship (2013)

[18 June 2013] World War Z (2013)

[12 June 2013] Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

[11 June 2013] Man Of Steel (2013)

[06 June 2013] After Earth (2013)

[27 May 2013] Byzantium (2013)

[12 May 2013] The Great Gatsby (2013)

[07 May 2013] Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

[24 April 2013] Iron Man 3 (2013)

[22 April 2013] The Look Of Love (2013)

[08 April 2013] Oblivion (2013)

[25 March 2013] GI Joe: Retaliation (2013)

[20 March 2013] Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

[04 March 2013] Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

[27 February 2013] Stoker (2013)

[11 February 2013] Cloud Atlas (2012)

[30 January 2013] Warm Bodies (2013)

[24 January 2013] Movie 43 (2013)

[23 January 2013] Lincoln (2012)

[22 January 2013] Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

[21 January 2013] The Last Stand (2013)

[16 January 2013] Django Unchained (2012)

[09 January 2013] Les Miserables (2012)

[07 January 2013] Gangster Squad (2013)

Reviews 2012

[19 December 2012] Life Of Pi (2012)

[13 December 2012] The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

[05 December 2012] Seven Psychopaths (2012)

[28 November 2012] Rise Of The Guardians (2012)

[19 November 2012] Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

[14 November 2012] Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part II (2012)

[06 November 2012] The Master (2012)

[30 October 2012] Argo (2012)

[29 October 2012] Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)

[24 October 2012] Skyfall (2012)

[26 September 2012] Looper (2012)

[20 September 2012] To Rome With Love (2012)

[18 September 2012] Killing Them Softly (2012)

[06 September 2012] Anna Karenina (2012)

[05 September 2012] Dredd (2012)

[02 September 2012] Lawless (2012)

[13 August 2012] Brave (2012)

[19 July 2012] The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

[17 July 2012] Ted (2012)

[02 July 2012] The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

[19 June 2012] Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

[18 June 2012] Cosmopolis (2011)

[11 June 2012] Rock Of Ages (2012)

[30 May 2012] Prometheus (2012)

[28 May 2012] Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

[21 May 2012] Men In Black III (2012)

[30 April 2012] Jeff, Who Lives At Home (2012)

[19 April 2012] The Avengers (2012)

[27 March 2012] The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

[22 March 2012] The Hunger Games (2012)

[05 March 2012] 21 Jump Street (2012)

[29 February 2012] John Carter (2012)

[28 February 2012] This Means War (2012)

[20 February 2012] The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

[14 February 2012] Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance (2012)

[08 February 2012] The Woman In Black (2012)

[01 February 2012] The Muppets (2011)

[17 January 2012] Coriolanus (2011)

[16 January 2012] J. Edgar (2011)

[05 January 2012] Margin Call (2011)

[02 January 2012] The Iron Lady (2011)

Reviews 2011

[23 December 2011] Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

[14 December 2011] Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)

[13 December 2011] The Artist (2011)

[01 December 2011] Hugo (2011)

[21 November 2011] 50/50 (2011)

[17 November 2011] Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part I (2011)

[10 November 2011] Immortals (2011)

[24 October 2011] The Adventures Of Tintin (2011)

[23 October 2011] The Ides Of March (2011)

[22 September 2011] Drive (2011)

[18 September 2011] Warrior (2011)

[15 September 2011] Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

[11 September 2011] Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

[22 August 2011] Conan The Barbarian (2011)

[15 August 2011] Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

[10 August 2011] Rise of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)

[03 August 2011] Super 8 (2011)

[25 July 2011] Captain America (2011)

[12 July 2011] Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)

[20 June 2011] Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011)

[20 June 2011] Bridesmaids (2011)

[15 June 2011] Green Lantern (2011)

[30 May 2011] Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

[29 May 2011] X-Men: First Class (2011)

[15 May 2011] Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

[09 May 2011] Attack The Block (2011)

[26 April 2011] Water For Elephants (2011)

[21 April 2011] Thor (2011)

[12 April 2011] Scre4m (2011)

[10 April 2011] Super (2010)

[31 March 2011] Sucker Punch (2011)

[27 February 2011] Rango (2011)

[18 February 2011] West Is West (2010)

[02 February 2011] True Grit (2010)

[17 January 2011] Morning Glory (2010)

[10 January 2011] Black Swan (2010)

[09 January 2011] Tangled (2010)

[03 January 2011] The King’s Speech (2010)

[02 January 2011] The Next Three Days (2010)

Reviews 2010

[14 December 2010] Tron: Legacy (2010)

[28 November 2010] Rare Exports (2010)

[23 November 2010] The American (2010)

[15 November 2010] Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010)

[08 November 2010] Unstoppable (2010)

[02 November 2010] Due Date (2010)

[30 September 2010] The Social Network (2010)

[21 September 2010] Made In Dagenham (2010)

[19 September 2010] The Town (2010)

[06 September 2010] Tamara Drewe (2010)

[25 August 2010] The Runaways (2010)

[24 August 2010] The Switch (2010)

[22 August 2010] Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)

[08 August 2010] The Last Airbender (2010)

[14 July 2010] Toy Story 3 (2010)

[12 July 2010] Inception (2010)

[29 June 2010] Twilight: Eclipse (2010)

[24 June 2010] The Rebound (2009)

[22 June 2010] Get Him To The Greek (2010)

[21 June 2010] The Karate Kid (2010)

[27 May 2010] The Losers (2010)

[26 May 2010] Sex And The City 2 (2010)

[25 May 2010] Death At A Funeral (2010)

[23 May 2010] She’s Out Of My League (2010)

[17 May 2010] Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010)

[11 May 2010] Robin Hood (2010)

[10 May 2010] The Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans (2009)

[05 May 2010] Four Lions (2010)

[04 May 2010] Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

[26 April 2010] Iron Man 2 (2010)

[14 April 2010] Date Night (2010)

[09 April 2010] Dear John (2010)

[29 March 2010] Whip It (2009)

[24 March 2010] Perrier’s Bounty (2009)

[22 March 2010] Kick Ass (2010)

[10 March 2010] Shutter Island (2010)

[07 March 2010] The Blind Side (2009)

[01 March 2010] Alice In Wonderland (2010)

[16 February 2010] The Lovely Bones (2009)

[10 February 2010] A Single Man (2009)

[09 February 2010] Ponyo {Gake No Ue No Ponyo} (2008)

[08 February 2010] Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2009)

[05 February 2010] The Wolfman (2010)

[03 February 2010] Youth In Revolt (2009)

[31 January 2010] Invictus (2009)

[16 January 2010] 44 Inch Chest (2009)

[11 January 2010] Up In The Air (2009)

[03 January 2010] The Princess And The Frog (2009)