* I was lucky enough to discuss The Post on this week’s Mad About Movies Podcast, check it out!*
The Post is intimidating on paper. Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and a huge ensemble cast. Considering the subject matter and the current political climate, I knew this could have been one of the best movies of the year. But I think with that expectation comes pressure, so while this was still an incredible movie, there are some aspects that I was not crazy about.
As I said, considering every aspect of The Post, I was almost overly critical when viewing. Luckily, most things held up to that. The truly stellar cast, Spielbergs story telling, long shots of the printing process. Seriously, I would watch hours of Spielberg shooting only typesetting and trucks driving past different DC landmarks throwing stacks of bound paper out the back. Add in internal tracking shots through different enviable houses, and I am sold.
There is a lot to unpack here so I will start with the cast. Hanks and Streep cannot be praised more, I think Hanks fell victim to some very obviously “oscary” lines, but that may have been due to a subpar script. The ensemble is amazing, Matthew Rhys is perfect for his role and I am very much team #putbradleywhitfordineverything. I loved any scene with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross just simply because it is Bob Odenkirk and David Cross together again. Lastly, I expected to be more aware that it was Alison Brie, but she really disappeared into the character.
It is kind of crazy how timely this movie ended up being in regard to importance. Obviously when development started, the drama surrounding the Trump administration was still prevalent, but more than that, the movie explores some relevant female struggles as well. I identified so hard with Kay when she was getting told sternly by Whitfords character how she should be running her company, and she responded cooly with “Thank you Arthur for your frankness.” Literally every female in the world has had to politely pretend to take an aggressive males opinion into consideration. By the end, she is telling Arthur up front that she is going to do what she wants with her company and he can back her or get out.
As for critiques, I mentioned earlier some of the “overly dramatic” Oscar baity lines, as well as the script issues. Spielberg is a master, he tells a story without the need for clunky dialogue. At one point Hanks basically says “The press and the government can’t be friends”. Yeah, we get that, this is what the whole movie is telling us, you shouldn’t have to literally spell it out for us. Selfishly, I also wanted more about actually investigating the story. Some of my favorite scenes were the “espionage” scenes, like when the intern goes to spy on the New York Times and comes back and shows Bradlee a drawing of the front page with just a huge block that says “Neil”.
To end, I am going to touch on how the movie ends. There were some scenes with the actual Nixon tapes of him saying that any journalist from the Washington Post is banned from the White House in the future, and it ends with Kay and Ben walking through the warehouse saying “I sure hope we never have to go through that again”, as the camera immediately cuts to the Watergate building as a security guard is about to walk in on the break in. Definitely cheesy line (script issues), but I loved the last wide shot of Watergate with all the flashlights. Made me think I need to watch a double feature with All the Presidents Men. 9/10