Is 'The Post' Movie Based On A True Story?

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep team-up for the Steven Spielberg-directed The Post

"Unfortunately, we still have only five or six percent of our Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and I don't know why that is". Few do heroism, small or big, better than Spielberg, and the fact that he fashions them here out of mere words (not headlines), in times such as ours, deserves acknowledgment.

The US Supreme Court backed the freedom of the press against the government. The scene that follows, especially the framing of it, is masterful Spielberg.

Spielberg crafts another moment, nearly as effective. Graham, portrayed as a socialite who assumed control of the paper only because of the death of her husband, is more comfortable hosting soirees, and the Pentagon Papers affair forces her to find her agency against both the patriarchy and her own self-doubt.

You love movies about Robert McNamara. The second half flows with more vigour and although it doesn't offer the formulaic intrigue of a Grisham tale, The Post remains an important historical document that is confidently told by the hand of a master director and two of America's finest actors.

The Post, set in the 1970s, talks about the tense times when The Washington Post made a decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, the United States government's secret history of the Vietnam War.

The Post is an abbreviation for Washington D.C. - based the Washington Post. Graham was the daughter of one former Post publisher and the widow of another.


In The Post, Tom Hanks is at his most Jimmy Stewart-ish, while Meryl Streep hits exactly that level of phenomenal she almost always seems to attain.

Journalistic films are usually about the news-gathering beat, but The Post is more than that. In one scene, a general assignment reporter (Michael Cyril Creighton) delivers an early portion of the Papers to his bosses and launches into an irrelevant description of the woman who dropped them off while his higher-ups are already busy dissecting the contents.

All of this is depicted in the Steven Spielberg-directed political thriller, which aside from Streep and Hanks, also stars Sarah Paulson ("Antoinette "Tony" Pinchot Bradlee"), Bob Odenkirk ("Ben Bagdikian"), Alison Brie ("Lally Graham") and Carrie Coon ("Meg Greenfield").

The movie pits journalists against the government. The clip of Nixon speaking about the Pentagon Papers is Nixon's actual voice, which adds to the drama and realism. As we watch its characters deal with the Nixon White House, it's hard to ignore how we, too, are living under a crooked, insecure, emotionally unstable president who will trample the Constitution to keep himself in power. Also, the reporters didn't have to dig for the story. There is a sequence late in the film that chronicles the assembly of the next morning's edition that is truly fascinating in that it shows how much things have changed as well as how much work was required in order to make a deadline in those heydays of print. If the intention was to send audiences out feeling inspired about journalism and its function in a republic, consider that mission accomplished. Like the film as a whole, it's diminished by dot connecting and self-congratulation. "The Post" was filmed in a hurry - principal photography began at the end of May - with the intention of celebrating an institution and a profession under constant attack by the present administration.

Spielberg captures the era with exactitude, showing just how laborious journalism was before the era of computers.

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