The White House requesting a movie has been a longtime practice in many past administrations - but the fact that the people in this White House want to see this movie is striking.
After opening to rave reviews in the U.S. a few weeks ago, one of the biggest films of the year, The Post, releases in India today.
Spielberg skillfully sets up the drama as a confrontation of principles and ideals, though admittedly, things are weighted pretty heavy on the side of freedom of the press against that old reliable bad guy, President Richard M. Nixon (whose actual voice is used for certain scenes in the film).
All of this is depicted in the Steven Spielberg-directed political thriller, which aside from Streep and Hanks, also stars Sarah Paulson ("Antoinette "Tony" Pinchot Bradlee"), Bob Odenkirk ("Ben Bagdikian"), Alison Brie ("Lally Graham") and Carrie Coon ("Meg Greenfield").
In The Post, Tom Hanks is at his most Jimmy Stewart-ish, while Meryl Streep hits exactly that level of phenomenal she almost always seems to attain. What came to be known as the Pentagon Papers was a secret analysis of the historical roots of the Vietnam War, a work commissioned by Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood), former secretary of defense under presidents Kennedy and Johnson. When the Times prints the first portions of the Pentagon Papers, his journalistic Spidey-senses start tingling.
Bradlee fumes and orders his staff to play catch-up.
The Post is also a close parallel of today, as it follows Streep's Katherine Graham, who must find her inner-strength when she unexpectedly ends up in a position of power. No, Hanks was part of the general awards conversation then, but he was passed over by the Academy.
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I give The Post 5 out of 5 overpriced cups of lemonade without vodka.
Thus does "The Post" move from a crackling newsroom yarn to a showcase for Streep's now-expected brilliance. Streep and Hanks are expected to earn nominations throughout the awards season due to their performance on the political thriller.
Meryl Streep paid a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday (Jan. 8) to promote her latest film, The Post, and recounted her "wild night" at the Golden Globes on Sunday (Jan. 7). "I would go with Sophie's Choice".
It's no surprise that Streep commands the screen as the embattled Graham. She is often the only woman in a boardroom full of men - trying to hold her own. Those men are represented by a Who's Who of character actors, including Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Michael Stuhlbarg and David Cross.
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.
The Times ran three front-page stories based on the information in the papers, before being ordered to cease, pending a a court case to test the legality of publication. It's vital that the rest of America learns them, and quickly.
In the 1980s, Graham even visited Fargo, where Marcil hosted a board meeting for publishers from around the country.