The Post

Dir: Steven Spielberg, with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks

A thoroughly good, well-acted, inspiring film. Sometimes the axe-grinding was a little too loud, but what’s not to like these days about a film that presents in so attractive a light the sober freedom of the press beating a self-serving, grudge-holding president?

It was about the publication of the top-secret Pentagon papers (demonstrating the US government’s long-held acknowledgement that Vietnam was never a war they could win) in, firstly, the New York Times then the Washington Post. (There was a wonderful scene where the whole building shook as the printing presses started up.)

Hanks played a tetchier version of his high-minded American from The Bridge of Spies, and Streep conveyed excellently the diffidence and doubt of the Post’s owner, Kay Graham. The scene of her leaving the courthouse through a throng of adoring young women (she was a privileged grande dame who had inherited the paper, not Rosie Boycott, for heaven’s sake) was far too saccharine for my taste, but the film wasn’t only made for cynical old farts like me.

Actually, I was just as interested in the Robert McNamara character and the Machiavellian aspects of wielding power. But this wasn’t that kind of film.

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