The Post Screen 11 articles

The Post

2017

The Post Poster
  • How you'll feel about The Post is more or less preordained by how you feel about Hollywood, Spielberg, the yearly tradition of Oscar bait, and the boogeyman of a "liberal media"—and those feelings may be indifference, respect, enjoyment, or a needlessly large sense of importance. To the credit of the craftsmanship and attention to detail of all involved, it is a consistently swift and engaging journalistic thriller despite a plot that holds very few surprises.

  • There are myriad delights contained within The Post, which should come as no surprise for a film by one of our most singularly ingratiating filmmakers. Steven Spielberg’s visual acuity and sensitivity to space and light remain leaps and bounds beyond the ken of most directors, and his impulse to put on a show and his ability to give an audience more than they ever knew they wanted are intact decades into his career.

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    Film Comment: Michael Koresky
    January 03, 2018 | January/February 2018 Issue (pp. 53-56)

    If for some The Post is hampered by the constant refrain of its social pertinence . . . , it also adds up to something far greater than the trappings of its topicality. Like any good popular artist trying to engage with politics while entertaining, the message being sent is less important than how it's communicated . . . the pleasure is in the details, and in being privileged to witness people thinking through decisions whose ramifications are far beyond their comprehension.

  • There’s more than a little corn and wishful thinking in the high-minded moments in “The Post”; movies like either to glorify or demonize journalists, relying on heroes and villains. Yet given the recent assaults on journalism and the truth, this heroizing is also irresistible. And Mr. Spielberg, a shrewd entertainer who can be waylaid by moralism, rarely lets virtue drag this movie down.

  • The Post transfers the tensions [in All the President's Men] from the reporters to management, who have to reckon with the potential collateral damage to their relationships to presidents, cabinet members and lawmakers. Things aren’t so suspenseful when the shadowy government official is the heroine’s frequent dinner guest. Will McNamara stop coming over for supper if Graham publishes the Pentagon Papers? This is one of the central moral conundrums in The Post, and it’s difficult to care.

  • I'm less enamored of the "bravery" monologue delivered by Sarah Paulson as Tony Bradlee, artist wife to WaPo newsroom majordomo Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). It's one of several sequences . . . in which the writers and Spielberg lean too heavily into the Now, which makes the Then in front of us seem that much more bogus. Yet there's a large degree to which Spielberg is aware of this falseness, and intentionally treads near parody as a way to complicate matters.

  • Spielberg's affection for shoe-leather journalism and the printed word is infectious, and it's designed to be: This is a work whose most compelling puzzle consists of a roomful of reporters trying to piece together thousands of pages of documents that have been submitted to them out of order. . . . But it's hard to avoid the sense that some of Spielberg's fascinations ought to have been reined in here.

  • Though Streep gives a fine, credible performance, Spielberg’s famously flexible camera only perks up when it reverts to the boy’s-eye-view that is his signature. . . . The simple truth about Spielberg is that the darkest and most mature moments in his films are subversions of his own most naïve instincts and sentiments.

  • Spielberg connects with the derring-do at the story’s heart. Beyond being one of our greatest filmmakers, he’s also one of our most self-aware, and understands that he’s crossing the streams a little: He shoots this political drama like a long-lost Indiana Jones movie. . . . All that may sound overbaked, and the danger of such overt mythologizing is that it can drain a tale of realism or nuance. But Spielberg uses technique to add complexity, not subtract it.

  • It's not only a terrific movie but as relevant a work of art or entertainment as anyone could hope for this Oscar season. Though based on events that took place 46 years ago, it’s a celebration of civic virtues in need of touting now—a free and feisty press, an independent judiciary, and a woman who finds her voice and purpose in a world ruled by men.

  • To borrow a phrase from one of the movie's many, many awful men, Spielberg here sacrifices a "more prudent" film in favor of a more palpably urgent one. It's a trade-off that's going to age this film poorly in a heartbeat, or a four-year term, but god forbid the last great Hollywood classicist continue trying to craft national-cultural signposts. He and he alone can get away with evidently doing this in his sleep.

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