The Post – Movie Review

The Post – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 12 January 2018

The Post may well be remembered for its achievement in efficient filmmaking. Director Steven Spielberg completed the film in less than a year. The idea was that The Post would serve as a sort of new version of The Crucible, using a historic event to underline the issues of the modern day battle between the press and the White House.

Yet the stakes of putting out a quality film without missing the zeitgeist don’t transfer over into a film with the same kind of stakes or suspense. Everyone knows the outcome of the events of the film before it begins, yet it never quite finds its way toward being exciting.

There’s also a sense that some actors are in a different movie. Meryl Streep, playing Washington Post publisher Kay Graham is in a sleepy, nuanced movie that is about her humanity and decision-making process. The movie lobs a few characters in to tell her how great it is that she’s a woman doing this job, but it doesn’t pour gas on that fire. Tom Hanks feels like he can’t quite decide what kind of voice to use as editor Ben Bradlee.

The only excitement really comes from Matthew Rhys’ tense espionage and Bob Odenkirk’s race to track him down. These actors feel like they’re in a more hard-boiled suspense movie and neither has a monologue that sounds like something designed for the Academy Awards.

If I could change one thing about The Post, it would be it’s lack of music for much of the running time. The John Williams score comes so late to the party, it feels as though he was given the least time at all. With a driving score, the tension and the stakes might have felt more real. Instead, it’s just a lot of listening to great actors recite serviceable dialog before cutting to more of the same.

I didn’t care for The Post as a theatrical experience. Perhaps there’s a great documentary out there on these events, but this didn’t work for me.

Amber, Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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