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"The Post" is savory meat and potatoes Spielberg

13 January 2018

That's right. It is melodramatic and sentimental and sometimes downright corny. There's a moving, powerful and historically accurate climax when the Post's presses roll, the First Amendment winning out so that the American people could finally learn how their government had lied to them for decades about Vietnam.

Set in 1971 in Washington, D.C., Spielberg's "The Post" is based on the fascinating true story of the Pentagon Papers, a revealing and extensive series of documents that exposed backroom US involvement in Vietnam stretching back to the Truman administration.

The Post's message is similar to that of Spotlight, another champion of good journalism and victor of 2015's Best Picture: The media, for all its myriad faults, is still an important bulwark for democracy, serving as a necessary check to those elected to power as well as informing citizens and voters.

Streep was in the audience when Winfrey gave her address at the Globes, sitting next to her The Post director Steven Spielberg, who is another big Oprah-for-president fan.

Steven Spielberg poses on the red carpet on arrival for the European Premiere of the film The Post
Steven Spielberg poses on the red carpet on arrival for the European Premiere of the film The Post

I'm talking about Nixon.

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

For a thriller containing multiple story threads, "The Post" moves at a crackling pace (1 hour, 55 minutes). Great actors in the lead roles; great actors in supporting roles of various sizes; and a rich, generous screenplay that hands out whip-smart one-liners and keen observations to just about everyone in the room.

After opening to rave reviews in the USA a few weeks ago, one of the biggest films of the year, The Post, releases in India today. Make sure to do it before the deadline of 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 and then we'll randomly pick one of you to win the CD.

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While the actress' co-star Tom Hanks, who Globes host Seth Meyers suggested should be Oprah's running mate if she chose to run, added, "I believe Oprah wakes up in the morning and both personally and professionally wonders what she can do specifically in order to make the world a better place". Having taken the reins after her husband's suicide (the true story of their marriage has the makings of a far more exciting film), she relies on her all-male board to run things.

By then, the current US president had established an adversarial relationship with the media.

Bradlee is beside himself. The Nixon administration sought an injunction against the publication of the Pentagon Papers as a threat to national security, yet as the title of The Post suggests, the focus here isn't on the Times, but on the Washington paper dealing with complex issues at the same time.

If you're looking for action that includes vehicle chases and weapons, you won't find it here. So, you know, fairly high stakes. When they do, the wheeling and dealing begins and Graham has to pick a side.

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But when Bradlee gets a little too comfortable on his high horse, Mrs. "We're arguing about not just the validity of things, but whether things actually exist". That we get to see Streep and Hanks delivering the lines is nearly just an added bonus.

But the standout is Bob Odenkirk as Ben Bagdikian, the kind of old-school reporter who wears out the soles of his shoes tracking down a scoop. Streep's performance is predictably sensational at capturing a woman full of self-doubt in a society still skeptical of women in positions of authority, and Spielberg employs all of his skills in shots that emphasize her insecurity: peering down at her over Bradlee's shoulder in a way that pins her in a corner, or circling her at a party like she's prey just ready to be eaten.

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