Meryl Streep's masterful performance is the big news in 'The Post'

Kenny Tucker
January 13, 2018

Less talented media members are forced to do menial tasks like expose government coverups. Not only do we have an American president who has declared the mainstream press "fake" and "the enemy of the people", but we have a gender reckoning all over America which couldn't possibly be more in need of a rousing tale of an unlikely American heroine.

Indeed, at the film's start Graham is painted as an uncertain and worrisome socialite who knows how to throw a dinner party but isn't sure she can handle appearances when the newspaper goes public on the New York Stock Exchange. It would be nice if Trump's staffers, when they watch the movie, take the story's lessons to heart. And a historic tale about the little guy fighting the system - also check.

It's no surprise that Streep commands the screen as the embattled Graham.

The papers they're talking about are known as the Pentagon Papers - 7,000 pages of a massive government coverup detailing how they knew the United States was losing the Vietnam War for years, but kept sending more troops anyway.

"The only way to assert the right to publish is to publish", says Tom Hanks at one point in the film, when his character Ben Bradlee is trying to convince Katherine Graham, his boss and publisher of Washington Post, to publish the Pentagon Papers. And how important it is for people to feel that and to get that encouragement. There's a whiff of her Devil Wears Prada persona about her Katharine Graham, if the behind-the-scenes vulnerability of that role were all we had been allowed to see.

Hanks, who plays famed editor Ben Bradlee in the historical drama, looked sharp in a two-piece light grey suit, over which he wore a knee-length black wool coat. As the movie begins, Graham is hanging on to a naïve faith in American leaders.

If you've ever wondered what could be better than watching Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in a movie together, we've got the answer... watching these actors perform one another's iconic lines! The young man in question is Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys).

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Chris Van Vliet: "Well, you're part of it!"

Meryl Streep in a scene from The Post. The only people of color are all in entry level positions and to me, Spielberg shines a light on how much, yet how little, has changed in almost fifty years.

If you - like me - are a news junkie or a journalist, this is not to be missed.

Once Streep and co-star Tom Hanks were set, screenwriter Josh Singer ("Spotlight") joined the project, and the script underwent considerable additions and cuts and revisions. Hanks filmed Saving Private Ryan here, while Streep filmed Dancing at Lughnasa.

An even more famous confrontation would come a few years later with The Post's coverage of the Watergate scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974.

Meryl Streep: "Ordinary people can move the needle in history and change the course of history". I could not believe the similarities between today and what happened with the Nixon administration against their avowed enemies the New York Times and the Washington Post. "I want all of the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon", she declared at the Los Angeles prizegiving. Though the weighty material may seem daunting, The Post is buoyed by an undercurrent of humor throughout.

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