Discovering a story of intrigue and cover up about the war in Vietnam, the country’s first woman newspaper publisher struggles with the decision to release a story that will rock the status quo of Washington DC yet jeopardize the future of her company.
From the outset this movie has all the pieces of not only a great film, but the potential for an award winner. Starring Meryl (Oscar Winner) Streep, and Tom (Oscar Winner) Hanks and directed by Steven (Oscar… you know where I’m going with this) Spielberg and a strong ensemble cast, everything is there for a first rate thriller.
However great the pieces may be it doesn’t always add up to a great movie and The Post is proof of that. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good movie. There are many things that work well in this film. The atmosphere of the early 1970’s, the detailed sets and costuming work well together to make you feel like you are back in 1971. There is also a stellar performance by Streep as the owner/publisher of the Washington Post.
There are two things however that work against this film, the casting of Tom Hanks and the pacing of the first half of the movie. Notice I said casting of Hanks. I am a fan of Tom Hanks as an actor, but he never seems comfortable as the hard-hitting, scraggly, gruff editor of The Post. Every time he puts a cigarette to his lips there is a feeling that he is about to consume a foreign substance that he hates. He just seems like he’s wearing shoes that don’t fit in this role.
The other issue is the slow prodding, pace of the first half of the movie. There seemed to be an eternity of painful contemplation by everyone and many trips to Kay’s house to inform her they might have to move on this big news once it become available… There is a fair amount of pick a phone to call someone, then go outside to call someone and finally switch phones at the phone booth to call someone else.
Besides the obvious themes of truth and integrity there are not many spiritual values of examples of faith in The Post.
Finally on a positive note there are some really solid performances here. Bob Odenkirk is great as gritty newsman who will get the story no matter what and Jesse Plemons plays a young attorney that is not intimidated by the veteran news reporters around him and Streep continues to be unpredictable and great as the socialite turned media mogul.
The Post has some good moments and a strong cast, but the sum of the parts falls short of the whole.
3 out of 5 stars