The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a true story, and instantly suggesting a political tone with its opening in Vietnam, assures a defence of the free press! All this wrapped up within a ready-made Oscar package too (google The Post – Golden Globes sketch). And to this point, Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee gives the Washington Post’s editor-in-chief typical nobility. Only he’s got added steel too, which varies things up somewhat. Likewise, Meryl Streep as Kay Graham the paper’s head, holds up her integrity, only being honest to the male-dominant environment of the 70s (and still today sadly).
As for the narrative itself? It plays off the New York Times publishing the Pentagon Papers that exposed entrenched American influence on Vietnam, then legally threatened, where Bradlee takes the opportunity for the Washington Post to follow up. Unfortunately melodrama can play all too much into this, but at the least, Spielberg still shows his skill with managing tension, and the cast are on fire (not just Hanks and Streep either..). So even though The Post may feel like an “Oscar film”, it’s well worth seeing anyway, and appropriate for today’s times.