Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk
Director: Steven Spielberg
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.
With all the legendary names associated with The Post everything about this movie should have been top tier. While it is not a poorly made movie by any means, none of the big names really do anything exceptional. For a movie about a very divisive time and issue in American history, I feel as though the movie went out of its way to play it safe.
With Streep and Hanks in this film, I fully anticipated that these two industry titans would by far be the best performers in the movie. It was a pleasant surprise that this movie ending up displaying the talent that a powerhouse cast can have on a film, as every actor and actress gives a great performance. In particular, Bob Odenkirk does a great job as Ben Bagdikian showing a good array of both a comedic and a dramatic performance. Odenkirk does not have as much screen time as Streep or Hanks, but when he is there, he makes his time count. It is great that Odenkirk has been given bigger film roles after a great career in television and I hope he gets more rolls like this in the future.
Looking at the movie as a whole, I think I might have set my expectations too high. When I heard that a Spielberg film would have Streep and Hanks in it with a John Williams score, needless to say I expected one of the best films of all of their careers. While all of them do a good job in their roles, none of them do anything career defining. I think that had these performances been made by lower profile people, they would be critically acclaimed, but since this film includes superstars, they perform par for the course. While some people might view this as unfair, I think that it is perfectly acceptable to have certain expectations for Steven Spielberg movies and different ones for Michael Bay movies.
Overall, The Post is a perfectly acceptable movie, but I felt as though there was more that could have been done. Streep and Hanks have their shining moments, but this was no Forrest Gump or Sophie’s Choice for either of them. The overall flow of the film is good, I just wish we got to see a little more of the actual court case against the Washington Post. While the movie was a solid ensemble, I went in expecting something on the level of All The President’s Men, and unfortunately I did not get that.
Overall Score: 7/10