THE POST (2017) movie review

I love Spielberg. I know that simply stating this will force some readers into the spin-cycle of anti-indie argumentation. I can’t help it. We know his war spectacles, his historical bio-pics, of which this is one. I thought I’d get tired of seeing him cast Tom Hanks yet again, but who was I kidding? I love Tom. Spielberg puts fire under pivotal historical moments, bringing them to light so we relive them. I respect those who retell our histories hoping we won’t remake the same mistakes.The Post used to be a smaller publication, fighting for its place, for representation, for a voice. The superpower New York Times took a risk and went to court over printing classified Vietnam war documents. If the Post had not followed suit with the Pentagon Papers, who knows what would have happened to our country during Watergate?Despite the tension and generally strained sentiment towards journalism at present, we do know that without free speech, free press, and our many inalienable rights, our country could author its own demise. These truths, self-evident, must be fought for.I am grateful for films like The Post as they don’t seem to seek to glamorize the institutions so much as the human choices amidst conflict that changed the world. In The Post, Spielberg offers intimate moments of truth from multiple forums: the powerful pressroom – minds racing and typewriters clacking, the factory floor – floor to ceiling printing presses whirring fast over steel typeset to build the hard copy news. You can almost smell the ink, feel the room shaking, squint in the flood light of illumination when people stand for truth and for what they know is right despite threats.
This director offers both power and intimacy in the same scenes. Here both are portrayed by favorite actors in memorable and slightly unique character roles. I love Hanks’ sharp sassy news Editor and Meryl Streep’s demure decision maker.She appears almost timid until she comes into her own. Her arc evident, she proves her prowess yet again. She is lovely on screen, unapologetic in her quirks and sentimentality. She is strong in her femininity, gracious in her leadership. I expected more heavy-handed agenda-pushing moments of Meryl on a soapbox standing for equality, but when she questions herself, it is in the most subtle of scenes: sitting in pajamas conversing with her daughter after gently tucking in grandkids. Here she ponders the implications of her past and present, and here she decides to risk all and change the world.

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