The Post (PG13)
Starring Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk
Directed by Steven Spielberg
When you have Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in the same scene, you can’t not expect magic. And these master thesps — backed by an equally sublime ensemble, including three Breaking Bad alums — share many magical scenes in Steven Spielberg’s rousing thriller about how the Richard Nixon administration tried (and failed) to stop The Washington Post from publishing the Pentagon Papers.
The latter was a 7,000-page leaked report that exposed the web of lies perpetuated by the government to justify its continued involvement in the Vietnam War, despite overwhelming evidence that it was an unwinnable conflict. The Post itself is a war movie (the title has a military meaning as well) where words are the weapons, and Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Streep) are the generals leading the troops, constantly debating (even with each other) the costs of defying and yielding to the powers that be.
The movie is set in 1971 but it’s really about what’s happening today with all that pesky business with fake news and an American President who’s into alternate facts. The only difference: journalism won that early round; will it prevail again? Check back soon. (****)