Steven Spielberg returned to the director's chair to showcase the incredible story of how The Washington Post faced off against the Nixon White House.
On Opposite Sides
At the heart of The Post are Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) and Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). When the audience first meets Graham and Bradlee, they will immediately notice their conflicting agenda.
Bradlee is a blunt news hound and wants to focus on bringing honest reporting to their readers no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Graham initially focused on building The Washington Post's reputation without burning bridges with the Washington D.C. elite. She also faced doubts from The Washington Post leadership regarding her role as publisher and bringing the paper to the stock market.
The Paper Problems
In addition to Graham and Bradlee's ideological disagreements, The Washington Post continues to face its challenges from both the Nixon White House and The New York Times. While the Nixon White House is furious with The Washington Post that they approved Judith Martin (Jessie Mueller)'s colorful coverage of the Nixon Family, The New York Times continued to beat the paper to the punch with breaking news.
However, things begin to change when The New York Times publishes parts of the Pentagon Papers and the White House barred the paper from releasing more material. Bradlee and Graham's relationship is ultimately tested when reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) makes contact with the person who brought the Pentagon Papers to light.
Streep And Hanks's Powerful Performances
Part of The Post's success is the acting ensemble's dominant performances. Hanks and Streep rightfully deserved their respective Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor-Motion Picture Drama and Best Actress-Motion Picture Drama.
Watching these two acting greats perform alongside each other might make moviegoers think that they are watching a tennis match. Tom Hanks delivered one of his best performances of the decade as the brash Bradlee. Streep also harnessed her activism energy into Katherine Graham as she brought sophistication and grace to The Washington Post.
A Supreme Screenplay
Another part of The Post's winning formula is the excellent screenplay that was written by Liz Hannah and Jack Singer. Hannah and Singer brilliantly incorporated archival footage of former United States Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and audio of Richard Nixon. Also, viewers will get chills when former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black's opinion is read in The Washington Post office.
The writers guided the audience through the dangerous jungles of Vietnam to the hallowed halls of the United States Supreme Court. Also, Hannah and Singer also eerily compared the Nixon White House with the current administration that is occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Post brilliantly showcases how anyone should not underestimate the power of the press. It also showcases why the American Film Institute picked the film as one of its ten best films of 2017 and inspires the next generation of journalists.