For the first time ever, Hollywood heavy weights, Meryl Streep, Tim Hanks and Stephen Spielberg come together on the big screen to tell the story that shook America to its core – the discovery of the Pentagon papers. The Papers that exposed a massive cover up by four US Presidents over three decades.
Streep, Hanks, Spielberg – when those names come together there is no doubt that a great cinematic experience awaits you. They could be reading articles from the newspaper and you would watch in awe. That said, they don’t rest on the laurels in this film. They deliver.
In true Spielberg style, it is the small things, and attention to detail, that build the drama and sense of urgency.
An angry Nixon appears in the film via the use of actual telephone recordings; Daniel Ellsberg’s original documents, that blew open the scandal, were used as props.
Spielberg has us on the edge of our seats as we are watching phone calls being made, with coins, on old style phone boxes; he manages to make the printing of a newspaper the most beautiful and exciting thing you will watch in a long time.
Add to that great dialogue and of course, the brilliant performances that Spielberg elicits from all of his actors and, even though it will be no big surprise how this film ends, Spielberg still manages to keep up the suspense and intrigue throughout the whole film.
It goes without saying that Streep and Hanks give remarkable performances. They embody the characters they play. Streep and Hanks are Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlee. They are wonderful to watch independently of each other but when they appear on screen together, they light it up (you can check out my interview with these Hollywood legends here).
It is not just the lead cast that are outstanding though. Under Spielberg’s direction, every single person who appears on screen brings their A game. Magnificent performances are delivered by the likes of the always amazing Sarah Paulson, “Better Call Saul’s” Bob Odenkirk, “The American’s” Matthew Rhys and “Glow’s” Alison Brie, to name but a few.
“The Post” could not be more relevant to today if it tried. It highlights, and continues, the conversations we’re having at the moment about the power of the press, presidential abuse and a woman’s fight to use her voice and to be heard.
The film also reminds you that you don’t need visual effects and high action for an entertaining film. At the heart of it all, cinema is about having a great story, telling it in an exceptional way and having the film stay with the audience long after they have left the cinema. “The Post” delivers all of that and more.