The Post is one of my favorite movies of the year. Director Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks handle this newspaper thriller about The Washington Post's Publisher Katharine Graham (played by Streep) who was the first female publisher of a major US newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (played by Hanks) with a symphony of perfection from beigning to end. The film co stars Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Tracy Letts, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods. The movie is dedicated to the late director Nora Ephron.
It looks at how the and publish the Pentagon Papers, which exposed a massive cover-up of government secrets related to the Vietnam War over 30 years and 4 presidents. They risked going to court.
The movie doesn't open until later this month and it has a tight embargo. When it ran for critics in New York - there was a standing ovation.
Spielberg says the movie came together over the space of just nine months, from the moment producer Amy Pascal found the spec script to the movie’s first screening.
Speilberg says “It just felt like this was going to be a movie that I was gonna want to make immediately, and I was still making this other movie for Warner Bros.” He had been working on Warner Bros.' Ready Player One for two and a half years. He started work on The Post at the same time that Ready Player One’s special effects were wrapping up. the script was rewritten by Spotlight’s Josh Singer. Speilberg adds “This was like something that couldn’t wait for three years or two years. This was a story that I really felt we needed to tell today.”
Hanks says the printing process was a detailed endeavour back then “Look how complicated it was to put out a newspaper — that linotype machine along makes you wonder, how did they put that thing out every morning so that they could read it at 6 a.m.? This was a profession that was about the truth and often the cost of compiling stories, and then having to physically go into the linotype room…where it was really a hands-on craft. We wanted to show that because we have such respect for all the news organizations, from the beginning of news, that are able to get this stuff out and disseminated.”
Spielberg used the real audio tapes of Richard Nixon in the movie. “It just seemed to me that there’s a fabulous choice role for Richard Nixon and we should cast him in this movie. It shouldn’t be a voice impersonator; it should be the president himself.”
Comparing the movie to today's political climate, Spielberg says “The relevance is up to everybody to strike their own balance between the news today and the news then. But obviously, sometimes, bad things happen twice. History is certainly repeating itself.”
Streep spoke about playing Graham. Throughout the movie, Graham is portrayed as she learns to become a success in a man’s world. She highlighted the working relationship between Graham and Bradlee, “a friendship so deep that it was like family,…with a mutual reliance on each other and realization of what the other is bringing to this: his bravado and her bravery.” Streep also admired how the movie is "about the working atmosphere. It’s so important right now, how men and women can deal with each other, especially if the woman is a superior. ... [In one scene,] she treats him like he is the boss, and that’s usually how that works. There is an accommodation to the ego of the men.” (how true is that Meryl)
The Post opens in limited release Dec. 22 before expanding wide Jan. 12.