Sean Jordan: Filmmaking ‘Holy Trinity’ — The Spielberg, the Streep, and the holy Hanks
I am currently working through the Oscar nominations to try and see each film before the prestigious evening of March 4.
I have just a few more still on the list, but so far I have seen: “The Shape of Water,” “Get Out,” “Dunkirk,” “Darkest Hour,” “Lady Bird,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “The Post.”
I still think “The Shape of Water” will sweep some of the major categories, but after seeing “The Post,” I might need to adjust some of my picks.
With the “The Holy Trinity” of filmmaking — directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks — how could “The Post” go wrong? Rest assured, it doesn’t.
If you don’t know anything about the film, here’s the CliffsNotes version.
“The Post” chronicles the events of the Vietnam War and the government cover-up of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret study of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam, spanning 1945-1967. A journalist obtains access to the secret documents, which lay out the American government’s plans and analysis of the situation, and then leaks them to The New York Times and eventually The Washington Post.
After publishing the first part of the study The New York Times, a judge issued a temporary restraining order sought by the U.S. government to stop publishing anything related to the study or face the consequences, which could include a hefty amount of jail time for everyone involved.
And that brings us to the roles played by Streep and Hanks.
Streep plays the first female publisher of The Washington Post, Kay Graham, while Hanks plays the no-nonsense Executive Editor Ben Bradlee. These two debate whether The Post should publish the study as The New York Times complied with the court order.
The themes in this film keep the drama thick with tension. The tug-of-war is intense between Streep and Hanks on the various elements of what is right and wrong, journalistic integrity, and whether they should publish something that could jeopardize the paper, national security and their jobs.
Another added tension is what Kay Graham goes through as the first female publisher of a major metro newspaper. At that time it was rare to see a woman in such a role.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, being a bit of a history buff. And, yes, being movie about journalism, I might be a bit biased, but everything about “The Post” was done so well it would be hard not to like.
Streep can tell you everything you need to know with one look, Hanks is as good as he’s ever been, and with Spielberg at the helm, let’s just say “The Post” delivers.
Contact Prospector Editor Sean Jordan at 530-477-4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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