Like 2015’s ‘Spotlight’, there is no denying that Steven Spielberg’s newest effort, ‘The Post’; a retelling of The Washington Post’s legal battle with Richard Nixon and the hidden accounts of the Vietnam War, was made for the sake of Oscar nominations. You have four Oscar-winners (Spielberg, writer Josh Singer of ‘Spotlight’, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep) collaborating on this project, a limited release in December which eventually opened wide in January, and a politically charged story all going for it. Though admittedly, I believe ‘The Post’ is Spielberg’s best Oscar movie since ‘Schindler’s List’.
Spielberg was already acclaimed as one of the greatest directors in cinema history; ‘The Post’ is no exception. Under his command, you feel the emotions of a character’s inner turmoil and the empowerment of a speech. Streep’s Katharine Graham even makes the bit of demanding monologue usually favored by the Oscars during a pivotal scene where she shines. For everyone, the message is clear! Women are forces to be reckoned with; they have voices meant to be heard by all who deal with them! It seems the role of Graham was a perfect choice for Streep to portray. Like Graham, Streep is a person who stands up for what she believes in no matter what trials or bits of criticisms she faces.
It seemed like a perfect time for ‘The Post’ to come out, since 2017 has been a year of political turmoil among those who have different beliefs on how America should be run. Its themes of media bias mixed with government secrets are timely, especially with the ever-so-popular phrase “Fake News” being blurted out by our commander-in-chief. However, back in the 70’s, controversy came in the form of Republican Richard Nixon, as well as classified documents relating to the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg (Played here by Matthew Rhys) shares these copies with The New York Times. This action catches the attention of The Washington Post, especially editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), who expects the publishing company to be out on top. Once they get the info they need, The Washington Post is faced with a tough decision: If they end up publishing the findings, they could face prison time.
Even if you know how ‘The Post’ ends; with it being a story of battling against the odds. You are with these people through their struggle. When a movie (especially one that is based on a real event) makes you care about its characters’ situations, then it is doing something right.