Friday, January 26, 2018

Movie Review … The Post

The fact that ‘The Post’ is classified as an ‘historical drama’ is amazing and more so for those who lived through the period depicted.  The 1970’s wasn’t that long ago but apparently it is for a slew of film-makers who have plundered the decade for stories.  Having made his career during that time, director Steven Spielberg would know much about how the period affected people. Maybe that’s why ‘The Post’ works as it has an authenticity making it one of the most compelling films in the huge Spielberg cinematic catalogue.

Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is an editor for ‘The Washington Post’ newspaper.  It’s 1971 with America in the midst of the era of President Richard Nixon.  When confidential government dossiers dubbed ‘The Pentagon Papers’ are leaked, a crisis ensues.  Detailing government cover-ups and lies during the Vietnam War, Bradlee seeks the support of the paper’s owner Kay Graham (Meryl Streep).  Uniting to take on the government and publish the documents, war between politicians and the paper escalates with truth caught unwittingly in the middle.

In a current age of ‘fake news’, ‘The Post’ is a breath of fresh air.  That may seem odd saying that about a story exploring an increasingly antiquated method of making and gathering news.  But it works due to the integrity of its characters.  Based on real people, you feel their pride in delivering the truth and doing anything to ensure those involved are protected. It also shines a light on equality with Graham a pioneering female newspaper owner willing to risk it all in a world dominated by male egos. 

Not much extra can be said of Hanks and Streep as they provide their usual fantastic performances.  Their co-stars are equally fine as real journalists who would have baulked at today’s often shonky ways of obtaining news.  The courage of their convictions is starkly seen with passion in crafting quality news.  The period detail and score are first rate with Spielberg taking his time to tell the story in an agreeably old-fashioned drama without the negative connotations associated with the term.

Steven Spielberg hasn’t lost his touch as ‘The Post’ is one of the best of his recent works.  A powerful statement in freedom of the press and the high standards it can reach, it’s something many current journalists should live by.  It may examine a period of history long gone but its lessons are still important where truth and fiction are often blurred.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



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