When American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg, realizes to his disgust the depths of the US government's deceptions about the futility of the Vietnam War, he takes action by copying top-secret documents that would become the Pentagon Papers. Later, Washington Post owner, Kay Graham, is still adjusting to taking over her late husband's business when editor Ben Bradlee discovers the New York Times has scooped them with an explosive expose on those papers. Determined to compete, Post reporters find Ellsberg himself and a complete copy of those papers. However, the Post's plans to publish their findings are put in jeopardy with a Federal restraining order that could get them all indicted for Contempt. Now, Kay Graham must decide whether to back down for the safety of her paper or publish and fight for the Freedom of the Press. In doing so, Graham and her staff join a fight that would have America's democratic ideals in the balance.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When Katherine Graham visits Robert McNamara at his house and as McNamara is angrily warning Graham about what Nixon could do to her and her newspaper, with the camera at his back facing her, finger is pointing at her but when the scene switches to her perspective, he clearly has his hands at his sides. See more »
This company has been in my life for longer than most of the people working there have been alive. So, I don't need the lecture on legacy.
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Dlsclaimer in closing credits: "Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation did not receive any payment or other consideration, or enter into any agreement, for the depiction of tobacco products in this film." See more »
I have always been a sucker for a good newspaper film, and 'The Post' is one of the best.
Living in the D. C. area since 1987, The Post has been a fixture in my life.
Being a moderate Republican married for 25 years into a family whose business is being elected every two years to the U. S. Congresss, I was privelaged to have a front row seat and sometimes a back stage pass to talk with Congressional leaders and 4 U. S. Presidents.
In addition, I sat in on occasional press conferences, interviews, and off the record discussions.
In my own business, I have been interviewed multiple times by the WP as a SME on business matters.
I haven't always agreed with the Post's political editorial opinions, and I can attest first hand that reporters attempt to get the story right, but don't always quote verbatim when the subject matter is not of national security or similar level of importance.
Newspapers still operate on a journalistic level in fact checking and verification - there are rare exceptions and those are likely discovered at some point, so imo the esssence of newspaper journalism as it's taught in school is still alive and kicking...Television and tabloid journalism on the other hand has for the most part, become an entertainment industry and is devoid of such checks and balances as two source verifications, etc. It has become an opinion editorial broadcast to a great degree. It's what brings in the advertising dollars - big bucks.
PBS News Hour's Judy Woodruff and the late/great Jim Lehrer are perhaps the last TV journalist/news anchors to avoid coloring and opining their broadcasts, leaving the op ed element to panel opinion discussions where it belongs.
That all being said, The Post is a throw back to the days when journalists were still driven by standards and ethics. What they taught in journalism school was to a great degree being manifested in the newspaper rooms.
Katherine Graham inherited the paper and with Ben Bradley (the "pirate") running the operation, has a decision to make on running a story on the Rand Corporation/Pentagon 20-year ongoing research program of the viability of involvement in SE Asia, and U. S. chances of winning the Vietnam War.
Top secret documents are involved and the right for newspapers to report on such leaked documents, showing that every President from Truman to Nixon knew that it would be, and was a war we could never win.
Spielberg does a very good job of bringing the drama of this and the decision Graham must make to publish even at the risk of putting the then barely solvent paper out of business and those involved into jail.
Her place as a woman who inherited this three generation family business that operates in the men's club of newspaper journalism is obviously the back story and Streep plays it totally low key and true to Graham's sense of the moment and transformation evolving by necessity from her insider Washingtonian socialite origins, to the power inherent in being Owner of a publishing center-of-influence that requires "making the tough decisions" (and despite those decisions sometimes being in disagreement with the paper's long-time male executive team and trusted advisors).
As always a great performance by Streep, as was Hanks' and the entire cast - Spielberg's ability to communicate what he envisions and needs from the actor in each scene, backed by his intuitive directing style, brings out actors' best instincts - it always has.
Spielberg holds nothing back in tapping into his deep refined set of film making skills, tapping his influences Hitchcock and Bergman in camera work and scene structure. It is a true work of art we are witnessing in 'The Post'. Like Streep is to acting, Spielberg is held to a higher standard than today's mere mortal film makers. This means Stephen and Streep are unlikely to take home hardware, but this film could easily win best "everything" if it were not for their stature (success-penalty alert).
Was it good enough for the elite actors and director to win Oscars in a great year for film? Maybe, but I think Chastain or Robbie for Lead Actress, Oldman for Lead Actor, Plummer for Supporting Actor and Janney for Supporting actress take the hardware home.
Haven't screened Phantom Thread yet by the way - that could change things.
Should you see this movie? ABSOLUTELY! Of course, I LOVE newspaper movies! And this is a VERY good one. Not up to "Spotlight" (best-ever newspaper film), but equal to 'All the President's Men" - it's a very good movie, with a share of thrilling moments mixed into it's successful mission to capture the moment when a local newspaper became an influential national paper, with a then unheard-of woman as it's Admiral making the toughest of business and journalistic decisions, and a pirate as its Captain to pull it off.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 👍👍
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