The Post a timely tale of power of the press

The Post a timely tale of power of the press

You're chasing down a big story and inadvertently stumble across another story that may be even bigger. Three-time Academy Award victor Steven Spielberg directed, and the script was co-written by Academy Award victor Josh Singer.

This film about the Washington Post's publishing of "The Pentagon Papers" eventually works, despite Steven Spielberg's penchant for sentiment at the cost of storytelling and history.

The two veteran actors are also supported by an outstanding cast.

Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee in a scene from "The Post". Daniel Ellsberg (The Americans' Matthew Rhys, who has a great cloak-and-dagger face) has started leaking the report to the New York Times, which gets slapped with an injunction. They are documents that prove the United States government has known for years that the war in Vietnam is not winnable and covered that fact up through four presidencies, all the while sending more young men into battle, because losing wars isn't something the U.S. does. When he approaches McNamara he's discussing the war situation with Robert Komer (David Beach). The revelations that the USA government had for years known the Vietnam War was a lost cause set off massive protests. The Post's publisher Katharine Graham (Streep) is in her own battle to be taken seriously by her board and her hard-as-nails editor, Ben Bradlee (Hanks), has to prove he's the right man to lead the paper. Graham was the daughter of one former Post publisher and the widow of another.

What gives the film power in the final act isn't just the newspaper's decision to publish the bombshell details of government lies and failures in the war with Vietnam, but the slow and steady steeling of Post Publisher Katherine Graham. The war was a quagmire with no chance of victory, so Ellsberg blew the whistle, getting the documents into the hands first of a reporter for the New York Times, and subsequently to the Post. When Bradlee assembles reporters to sort pages, you can see the legwork necessary to craft the story. He pursues the story with the purest, strongest force known to journalism - that of the scooped trying to scoop their scooper. But this is more about the growth of the Post from an essentially regional newspaper into a national powerhouse. Graham, the boss, is caught in the middle.

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration January 15
He spent the previous year of his life condemning what he called the "triple evils" of racism, poverty and war. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the national King holiday, and the King monument on the National Mall.

Their newsroom is filled with nice vintage touches - typewriters, rotary phones, copy editors editing with pencils - though not almost enough cigarette smoke.

She also must decide on her role in life - continue being one of Washington's key socialites or begin taking control of the corporate reins of her company, left to her after her husband's suicide in 1963. That's especially true when you recall the more bombastic and imposing Jason Robards as Bradlee in "All the President's Men", which can be seen as the "Part Two" to this film. Maybe he crafted this message for those relatives who won't read what we ask them to read but may watch a nice movie by that nice Steven Spielberg with that nice Tom Hanks about a nice idea without which very mean things happen.

"The Post " is kind of like the Yankees of movies. It was an important film at an important time that talked about journalistic values and how a truly free press with the best intentions at heart can make a difference as long as they don't lose sight of what they are after - Truth. The WWII epic Empire of the Sun takes place after the 1939 release of Gone with the Wind, but the background poster art in the film stems from the 1967 reissue. And a reminder that everyone needs to be welcomed, and listened to, in the fight.

But "The Post" isn't a valediction to a vanishing era, but a call to arms for the new one.

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