The Post

B

The Post has gotten mostly positive reviews, but a lot of people cynically look at it as by the numbers Oscar bait for Stephen Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Pentagon Papers was a really big story before Watergate came along and there are strong parallels to current events like Wikileaks as a giant stack of classified documents were released without the government's permission. Plus today you have a White House that has put the media on its enemies list so there are parallels to Nixon's White House. But the problem is there isn't that much to the story. It may have been a big story at the time, but today everyone knows Vietnam was a disaster. In fact, the story takes place during the Nixon administration, five years after the Pentagon Papers were written, so it's not like people weren't already protesting the very unpopular war. This wasn't a big investigation by reporters digging for the truth like Watergate. Instead this document was leaked to several newspapers with the New York Times publishing stories first. Eventually a lot of stories were written, but the movie isn't about writing the articles but whether to publish or not when the government lawyers were doing everything they could to stop it. I don't feel like they really developed Meryl Streep's Katherine Graham that much and there aren't a lot of big acting moments, which normally is good except for the weak story. When she does finally decide to publish, it seems like she could go either way instead of having a strong conviction. Better writing would have helped, but maybe there is no way to polish this story into something better. Also the timing and subject matter of the movie feel a little like liberal Hollywood propaganda in the Trump era, but Obama was the one that dealt with Wikileaks and he did a lot of the same stuff Nixon does here because the government is always going to try to keep its secrets. It is still a nice story about newspapers, but not much new.