The Post

In 1971, Kay Graham was the first of her kind, a female newspaper publisher, but she was never supposed to have the job. The Washington Post was part of the family business but her father passed it down not to her, but to her husband. But when her husband committed suicide, she stepped into shoes that had always been loafers, not heels.

Then, something amazing happens: someone leaks top secret documents that detail the Vietnam cover-up that spanned 4 U.S. presidents including the current one, Richard Nixon, who’s kind of a dick. The NY Times gets ahold of them but gets shut down by Tricky Dick and his cronies. The papers then filter down to The Washington Post, and Kay Graham has to decide whether she’s going to risk her little empire AND a serious prison sentence.

Interesting facts about Mrs. Graham: she was not a powerful business person, or used to MV5BMTg5Nzg3NjUzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTY5NzA1NDM@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_being in charge. She’d never had another job. She was naturally meek, and kind of nervous. She was surrounded by assertive men, some of whom weren’t crazy to have her among their midst and certainly didn’t see her as an equal never mind a boss, and none of whom were shy about voicing their opinions. She was, however, an accomplished socialite, which in the city of Washington, means she counted many prominent politicians among her friends – and the particular politician at the epicenter of this scandal was among her closest. These facts are not to diminish her but to illustrate just how courageous she truly was to take the stance she did.

Newsflash: Steven Spielberg is a good director. Yeah, we already knew this, but this film had me noticing all kinds of little details that I admired greatly. This movie has the feel of a smart and sharp little indie; it’s taut and thrilling and lots of fun. It gets a little heavy-handed at times but its best moments are when it’s showing, not telling.

Maybe Spielberg’s greatest asset is his incredible ensemble cast. Tom Hanks is the fevered editor, and he’s flawless. Bob Odenkirk is stupendous as a hard-working investigative journalist. But of course it’s Meryl Streep who steals the show as Kay Graham. It’s not a showy role. Mrs. Graham is never the biggest personality in the room. She’s not commanding, but we are nevertheless riveted by Ms. Streep. Her shaking hands, her tremulous lip – we see how hard this for her, and so we admire her all the more for doing it.

You are not contractually allowed to write a review of this film without using the word “timely”. About a year ago, Nixon was down-graded to only the second most douche-baggiest president in history. Truth matters. The press belongs to the governed, not the governors. Support journalism. Subscribe to a newspaper, even if you read it online. One day they’ll be making movies about this time. But this is not just a news story, it’s also, of course, a nod to feminism. Mrs. Graham walks through a sea of secretaries before she’s admitted to the all-male floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She faces a Supreme Court that has never had a female Justice and wouldn’t for another decade. When someone says that Mrs. Graham’s father willing the family business to Kay’s husband says a lot about the man, Tom Hanks replies that actually, it says more about the time. So yeah, this is the movie we all need right now. It’s essential viewing. But even if wasn’t so “timely”, it’s so thoroughly peppered by exceptionally talented people that The Post is an easy recommendation and a damn fine film.

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30 thoughts on “The Post

  1. raistlin0903

    No real surprise to see that Meryl Streep again steels the show, she is really amazing. This is a very glowing review. Did not expect that this film would be such a great viewing experience. Hopefully it’s going to score big at the Oscars. Great post! πŸ˜€

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  2. Snoskred

    This is on my must see list for Bob Odenkirk almost as much as the rest of the cast. I’m loving him in Better Call Saul, he is just killing it and who knew there was so much depth to the person we come to know as Saul Goodman? πŸ™‚

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  3. J.

    Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing this one. Can’t say I’ve been all that fussed about a Spielberg movie in a while, but this sounds really special.

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  4. mydangblog

    I didn’t realize it was Spielberg until the other day. My parents saw it and loved it, so combined with that, and your always excellently written reviews, I’ll go see it this week!

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  6. mistermuse

    My review of your review ? A+++. This sentence alone is worth the price of admission: “About a year ago, Nixon was down-graded to only the second most douche-baggiest president in history.”

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  7. reocochran

    I have been very excited about this since I had lived through this whole situation. I believe you and will go see this at the theater. Yay! The Golden Globes and other short bits of this reminded me of why I loved “All the President’s Men” film. Thank you, Jay! ❀

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  8. Henry Chamberlain

    Yes, it is essential viewing! Interesting how it did not dominate the Golden Globes as it would seem to be a natural. Of course, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is always looking for those gems in need of attention and that is going to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, everyone has stars in their eyes from all the big names attached but it’s not a very glamourous movie. I just really love when something difficult is translated on film and I think this movie shows a lot of mastery but just has no flash to catch voter’s attention.

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  10. Jagger Czajka

    Definitely exceeded my expectations. Was surprised how they could take a somewhat mundane subject and make it enthralling to watch. One of Spielberg’s better directing jobs as of late.

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