The Post ★★★1/2

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

The Post ★★★1/2

Reviewed by
ABR Arts

The Post opens with the sounds of whirring helicopter blades over a black screen, before dropping us into the middle of a jungle sortie, circa Vietnam 1966. Caught in the firefight is military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, played by Matthew Rhys. The vicious attack by unseen Viet Cong is staged by the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, with typical flair, a kind of guerrilla sequel to his Normandy landing. But this sequence is much briefer than the one in Saving Private Ryan (1998), and editors Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn cut abruptly from the middle of the battle to Ellsberg typing up his report back at camp after the slaughter.

As the opening to a film subsequently set almost entirely in newsrooms and Washington townhouses, this feels like a constitutional: a hit-out before all the shot/reverse-shots of the dialogue scenes, as well as a reminder that Spielberg’s late-career interest in civics, with Lincoln (2012) and Bridge of Spies (2015) and now this, hasn’t dulled his way with an action sequence.

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Comments (3)

  • Sorry about That - double-dipping. I thought No 1 had got Lost!!!
    Posted by Rosemary OGrady
    Thursday, 25 January 2018 14:25
  • Your reviewer gives this film 3.5 stars. I'd give it 5. The transformation of The Washington Post from a local daily into a national broadsheet after the death (suicide?) of Phil Graham, is a masterpiece (no exaggeration) of contemporary film-making. I dislike the cinema experience nowadays : too much crackly paper and feet on seats ... but I hurried to see this to see how Meryl Streep would represent Kay Graham, a person I much-admired. That Tom Hanks is more Ben Bradlee than Ben Bradlee was a Treat! that all the key personnel were dazzling cameos, ditto, but when Meryl Streep appeared in the image-making hairstyle she gave us the Real K.Graham - and all her courage and committment, and moral reasoning and logic, in a world changing for women and for the generations post-Cuba; post-Vietnam. It's a terrific film. That I am a little biassed in its favour is evident but I do not apologize for it. I never got over the thrill of preparing a page on a cold metal plate, and of the switch and the deafening racket that makes a newspaper building shake and shudder like a ship in a storm when the presses run. It took me back.
    Posted by Rosemary OGrady
    Thursday, 25 January 2018 13:18
  • Good review selecting the key elements of Meryl Streep's wonderful performance SO-reminiscent of the Real Katharine Graham. Faced with the decision which will make or break The Post, and take it from Beltway parochial to Watergate-Scooper - she claims her inheritance bravely (as Tony Bradlee points-out to Ben) - 'It's MY paper..." . I dislike cinemas these days but had to go to see how this was done - and - Hats Off to S. Spielberg!!! What a clever movie. And wow to Tom Hanks (what a consummate actor : how does he do it? he's always Tom Hanks and at the same time always Mr America Everyman - here he seems more Ben Bradlee than Ben Bradlee - marvellous make-up artists? and sheer professionalism. ) Your reviewer gives this 3.5 stars. I, who used have a long-gone copy of The Pentagon Papers in my 'library', would give it 5. Every part ... the ordinary reporters who each play their parts, the guests at the tables of the Washington 'elite', Lally Weymouth, conflicted Robert McNamara ... makes a sensitive cameo. If The Oscars were not all filled-up with fairly-predictable Nominations, but more open to subtle, probing, illuminating material of the kind S. Spielberg is making his own - I'd like to have seen this film right at the top of the list. It's THAT Good.
    Posted by Rosemary OGrady
    Wednesday, 24 January 2018 13:16

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