The Post

LetterboxD review link

The Post is a lot of things – it’s a journalism (ahem, Journalism) movie, a movie about feminism, about government, history, war, politics, power – in fact, The Post is about too many things. And, my guess, is that that is entirely because it was made in a rush. Spielberg put other plans on hold as soon as this script arrived on his desk and woo’ed Streep and Hanks to immediately join this project and complete it in under 6 months. What results is a story that feels like a draft in need of more editing.

There were two ideas that were only partially explored in this film but they piqued my interest: the relationship between journalists and politicians (especially in Washington where their circles overlap often) and the role of competition in driving journalists to do better and better work (journalists hate getting beat on a scoop). I’ve seen both of these forces at play in my short time as a journalist at the NYTimes. And both, in my opinion, can lead to problems. The Post didn’t spend much time with these ideas but they bounced around in my head while the story plodded forward into other territory.

Presumably, Liz Hannah’s story was about the week Kay Graham became Kay Graham. The resulting film, though, squeezed in everything and the kitchen sink that Spielberg and perhaps co-writer Josh Singer wanted to throw in there to make the movie feel “of the moment” and an homage to the grandiose stuff of capital-j Journalism.

All of that said, there was still a lot of great stuff in this film including the set design, costume design, some of the set pieces and dialog, and of course one of the best working directors behind the camera.