The Post (2017)

The Post
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Zach Woods, Pat Healy
Seen on: 1.3.2018

Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has anonymously leaked documents to the New York Times that prove the atrocities of the USA in Vietnam. The Post, newly managed by Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) who took over after the death of her husband, doesn’t want to fall behind and finds Ellsberg for more information. Soon The Post finds itself under big pressure from the government not to publish and Kay has to make big decisions.

The Post is a film full of pathos. There’s nothing wrong with that and it works emotionally. It’s just a little too safe in its choices, making it feel a little dusty. But (unfortunately) not out of date.

The Post is a film that we feel we have seen a hundred times already – and that includes the performances of Streep and Hanks. I don’t mean to say that they’re bad or that the film is, it’s just a very conservative way of making a film that makes only choices that have been tested.

But they have been tested and proved themselves, so the result is still a film that sweeps you away and involves you emotionally and politically. And if you look at politics nowadays, the points it makes are absolutely worth repeating over and over again. We still haven’t learned our lesson, apparently, that critical and independent journalism are absolutely essential to a democracy.

The film also shows very effectively how segregated along gender lines society was at the time. It is less occupied with all other kinds of segregation and fails stunningly at any kind of intersectional look at the world. There’s also no reference to the fact, that that segregation is far from over. It’s just less obvious today than it was back then. But at least it tries to make a feminist argument, so it definitely gets bonus points for that.

That all makes The Post a good film but one that doesn’t really manage to excite, I’m afraid.

Summarizing: Pretty good.

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