The Post review: A film dripping with urgent, authentic storytelling

Steven Spielberg has a new film out, perfectly timed for Oscar season.

The Post tells the true story of the Pentagon Papers and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

The great thing about being one of the greatest filmmakers ever to work in Hollywood is it gets pretty easy to sign on the big heavyweights, and they don't come any bigger than Streep and Hanks.

The Post  is the story of The Pentagon Papers - the ones leaked first to the New York Times, then the Washington Post.

A shocking government dissection of the futility of the Vietnam War, the leaked papers would grow into one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the White House, and not long before that other wee scandal that finally brought down a US President - Watergate.

The part the press played is the main subject of this film - a story focusing on the Washington Post and its seemingly very prim and privileged publisher, Kaye Graham (Streep), and its hard-nosed newsman, Ben Bradlee (Hanks).

Between them, Spielberg, Streep and Hanks push two very strong and very relevant agendas - somewhat heavy-handedly in parts, but no less compelling because of it. They are the freedom and empowerment of the press and gender equality.

So yep, this is the '70s, but you know what? Of course it's so right now.

Watching Hanks and Streep is a beautiful thing and I could do it all day. This film drips with urgent and authentic storytelling, and I would expect nothing less.

I did feel myself disengage a little as the more obvious tension to the finale was ramped up a little too earnestly, but The Post remains a very worthy four-star watch.

Four stars.


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