You're chasing down a big story and inadvertently stumble across another story that may be even bigger. The movie is directed by Steven Spielberg.
While everyone is waiting for Steven Spielberg's next movie, 'Ready Player One, ' he used the time spent in post-production to quickly shoot a movie that is nothing less than a statement for a free press and its importance for democracy in America: 'The Post'.
The Post is without a doubt relevant at a time of attacks on the media and the #MeToo movement.
"When the reality of it strikes, you go, 'Oh my gosh!" Meanwhile, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), The Post's Executive Editor, is wrestling with a very important decision - how to cover the wedding of the daughter of the President.
What gives the film power in the final act isn't just the newspaper's decision to publish the bombshell details of government lies and failures in the war with Vietnam, but the slow and steady steeling of Post Publisher Katherine Graham.
Spielberg skillfully sets up the drama as a confrontation of principles and ideals, though admittedly, things are weighted pretty heavy on the side of freedom of the press against that old reliable bad guy, President Richard M. Nixon (whose actual voice is used for certain scenes in the film). The report commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) revealed that five administrations had lied about US prospects for victory in Vietnam. But years later the government was still sending soldiers to Vietnam, not to win, but to forestall a humiliating defeat.
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Meryl Streep (as Kay Graham): "We can't hold them accountable if we don't have a newspaper". Hanks' Bradlee is gruff and blunt in his dealings with everyone, including his boss Graham, and a sharp contrast to her diplomatic style of speech.
The publication of the papers, which had already occurred in the New York Times, was fraught with peril because the government had threatened to sue the paper. Forty one years after its release, The Post is the prequel that All the President's Men richly deserves as it talks about how Ben Bradlee and his team at a small local newspaper burst on to national consciousness with the gumption to fire back at a lying administration. He pursues the story with the purest, strongest force known to journalism - that of the scooped trying to scoop their scooper.
Even though you know what happens in the end, since, you know, it's based on history, the story keeps you on the edge of your seat and reminds you that... Bradley Whitford, a star of the television show "The West Wing", plays Arthur Parsons, a fictional character who advises Graham. Her courage is exemplary as is Streep's performance - she beautifully captures Graham's steely resolve and her vast insecurities.
Spielberg occasionally hammers a little hard on the main message of "The Post", about the press's watchdog role against a deceitful presidency, but that doesn't make this story of First Amendment heroism any less compelling or necessary. The massively talented supporting cast includes nominees Bob Odenkirk ("Better Call Saul"), Matthew Rhys ("The Americans"), Carrie Coon and Jesse Plemons ("Fargo") and two-time victor Bradley Whitford ("The West Wing"). "Show" partner David Cross. It's an old-school movie in the very best of ways: a story-driven drama that's paced nearly like a thriller, taking us back to days when newspapers were assembled in hot type by men in fedoras (well, maybe that's a costume designer's flourish, but I'd like to believe it) and when suspense could be conveyed by some extremely dramatic Xeroxing.
The one exception is Bradlee.