In 2016, the winner for Best Picture was the incredible movie Spotlight, which highlighted the journalist’s discovery of sexual child molestation within the local Boston catholic community. If you liked that film, you will surely love The Post. The theme might be different this time. It’s the cover-up of the Vietnam War by the US government, but the movie is pretty much the same.
When The New York Times gets a hold of documents stating that the US government has lied for years about the Vietnam War, they feel compelled to publish. The cover-up stretches four Presidents and is one of the biggest scandals of the modern American government. Soon, however, President Nixon orders The New York Times to stop publishing any and all documents regarding this case. They comply.
All the more reason for The Washington Post, led by Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) and Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) to pursue those documents and publish them regardlessly, in a way to punish the government not just for lying about the Vietnam War, but also for trying to silence the Press.
It was a unique point in the American history. A newspaper that defied the White House, while one of the most notorious Presidents lived there. However The Post also shows that for a great part of the story, it was about luck. The Washington Post took the breadcrumbs of someone else’s investigation and placed the decision to publish in the hands of Kay Graham. Who then became the head of the paper after her husband’s suicide. Not at any time in the movie do you feel like she actually knows what she’s doing. Therefore, making the decision to publish regardless of her advisors and the pending jail time might not be fueled only by bravery, but also by ignorance.
The Post is an interesting story with a handful of beautiful scenes. Yet it’s also Steven Spielberg on auto-pilot, who has enlisted such great talent that the movie cannot fail. But no matter how you look at The Post, Meryl Streep’s performance never becomes Oscar-worthy. If anyone would deserve a nomination, it would be Tom Hanks.