The 2018 Golden Globes featured a gag in which Seth Meyers introduced The Post by recognizing Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep’s contributions to the film as Meyers’ assistant carried an armful of the globe awards up to the stage. Upon seeing his assistant, Meyers says, “No, not yet, we have to wait.” Sure enough, I think anytime we hear any one of those three entertainment goliaths mentioned, we think of awards. For one, the name Meryl Streep is pretty much synonymous with “Oscar nominee.” Yet, to everyone’s surprise, The Post was nominated for six Globe awards and didn’t take home a single one. And honestly? I don’t disagree with the Hollywood Foreign Press’ decisions.
The Post is set in the early 1970s, during the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War. Katherine Graham (Streep) – now owner of The Washington Post after the death of her husband – takes her family newspaper public. Her lack of experience and status as a woman cause her to be frequently overruled by more assertive men who advise or work for her. Meanwhile, The Post’s Editor-in-Chief Ben Bradlee (Hanks), tries in vain to match The New York Times’ ability to get breaking news stories. His efforts are of little avail, when The Times releases an exposé of the government’s long-running deception of the American public in regard to the Vietnam War. It’s not until the series is halted by a court injunction, and they get a hold of the papers (now known as the Pentagon Papers) themselves, that they must decide whether to run the story where The Times left off. For Graham, this means risking everything.
Streep is predictably amazing, and this film gives her the opportunity to play one of her most subtle roles to date. She portrays Graham with such sensitivity that we can tangibly see her character’s progression in confidence, even though her overall screen time isn’t quite as extensive as it usually is. Trump may think she’s “overrated,” but this film marks her record-breaking 21st Oscar nomination. Hanks (aka Hollywood’s Sweetheart), is spot-on as well, in a pleasantly surprising turn as the stubborn, all-business, but passionate Editor-in-Chief. The film boasts a dependable, star-studded cast; if you can’t recognize at least five actors, then you need to watch more movies. One actor to note is Michael Stuhlbarg (portraying Abe Rosenthal), who has played supporting roles in three of the Best Picture nominees this year (The Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name).
The ending pays tribute to the movie, All the President’s Men, potentially one of the most renowned films revolving around journalism of all time. Will this movie ever reach that status? I don’t know. But just like its predecessor, the film is undeniably relevant in contemporary political climate. Nixon (at least in the film) casts a very similar shadow to our current president, and issues surrounding freedom of the press are all the more heightened, especially with certain claims about “fake news.” Did I love the movie? No, not really. It is a good movie, and Spielberg shows off his adeptness at creating tension and suspense; but if you ask me, it’s among his lesser works and I would by no means call this one the best of the year. Nonetheless, you should judge for yourself – and don’t forget to make your predictions for the Oscars this week!
Contact Gloria Han at [email protected]