The Post is a movie that has an interesting idea fuelling it though because it consists of people speaking and nothing of true visual interest taking place could come off very dry. Luckily it has one of the greatest working artist in the medium and two of the most highly acclaimed living actors at the forefront (including some very strong supporters).
(3 / 5)
Our movie takes place near the end of the Vietnam War and The Washington Post is busy reporting on the news. They get by but they’re always just a little behind their competitors. There is a buzz in the air about documents that have been copied from classified files in The Pentagon and are released. They reveal so many things like a president predicting that America would loose the war five years ago.
Kathrine Granham (Meryl Streep) runs the paper because her husband committed suicide, so the duty fell upon her. She is surrounded by very qualified men that are certainly there by choice and more attuned to the business. In meetings she prepares but is quite and goes mostly unnoticed. In the office is Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) that runs the office work, he gives the go ahead on the story and assigns journalist assignments.
Streep is on-point as a woman that has been handed a job and situation that she did not plan or prepare for but is smart and able to handle tough situations. You can tell this is not her comfort zone but she is nobodies fool or pushover. On the other side of the business is Hanks as a seasoned veteran in the industry that is most certainly in his element. Barking orders decisively and across the room with a few slang words in his dialog to show that he’s been immersed in this world for years makes the character complete.
It is the acting itself which is the selling point of the movie. The two leads are some of the best we have and are absolutely putting in the effort. But there are strong backing performers with Bob Odenkirk, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Allison Brie and Michael Stuhlbarg that make the whole cast give solid performances.
Speilberg has already, many many other times has established himself as one of the greatest directors living and of all time. His movies are audience pleasing and easy to follow, but his mastery goes beyond being simple, he is a great visualizer. He is able to take his camera and through minimal movements but key choices clearly delivers information to the audience. Take for example a moment early on in the movie, we are in Vietnam and soldiers are applying face paint and one catches their attention, the camera then tracks him getting into a jeep and it then flicks down to show a typewriter next to him. That seemingly effortlessly shows what this characters profession is and why he is there. He is also partial to using long takes to allow the actors to truly deliver a scene and the audience to get comfortable with their dynamic. Janus Kaminski deserves to be named for bringing these smooth visuals to life through his cinematography.
This is interesting enough but what really sells the movie is the acting and one of the greats behind the camera that very smoothly visually feeds and engages us.