“The Post” is another rousing outing from Steven Spielberg

The embargo has finally lifted, ladies and gentlemen! We can at long last discuss The Post, the new Steven Spielberg film, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Yes, this super fast tracked project is not only complete, but has been screening pretty consistently for critics, guild members, and the Academy itself. The National Board of Review fell in love with it, and plenty of other voters are about to. We’re a month or so away from release still, but the buzz is building in a big way. Once again, Spielberg has delivered the goods. No one in the industry makes it look as easy as he does. He truly is a master at work. To begin, this is what IMDb regales us with, in terms of plot: “A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government. Inspired by true events.” Essentially, this is the story of the fight to publish the Pentagon Papers that went on between the Nixon Administration and newspapers like the Washington Post. Publisher Kay Graham (Streep) and Editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) must risk more than just a paper in order to get the truth out to the American people. The importance of journalistic integrity and the allusions to current political times won’t be lost on anyone. Spielberg directs a script by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, while the A-list ensemble cast includes Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Pat Healy, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Matthew Rhys, Stark Sands, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford, and Zach Woods. Another excellent score comes to us from John Williams, while cinematography is once again by Janusz Kaminski. Everyone does exactly the work you’d expect from them, and I mean that as a compliment. Spielberg gets to tweak Donald Trump and do his own version of Spotlight here. Think that film mixed with the Bridge of Spies aesthetic and you more or less have The Post. It’s not a home run, but it’s rock solid and entertaining in a way that the master seems to do effortlessly. It also marks great roles for Hanks and Streep, with the former having a blast clearly and the latter getting to really showcase her ample talents by the end. A slightly sluggish beginning hurts things, but it wraps up like gangbusters. That’s just one reason [...]

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