The Post


Solid but not amazing. Though Streep is great Discuss this article

© ITP Images

“However,” Meryl Streep says, distractedly, a forefinger touching her temple – and that indecisive pause is the most exciting thing in the whole of The Post.

Streep plays Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham – in retrospect, a giant of journalism – and even with the weight of printing the Pentagon Papers (and defending the freedom of the press) bearing down on her, the actor adds layers of dithering doubt, a satisfying zig where others would have zagged. It’s the first time Streep has given us a recognisable human being in a while, and it’s thrilling to see the exquisite wobbler of Sophie’s Choice back in action.

She deserves a movie that matches her complexity. Instead, via a clichéd script by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post begins with Vietnam War choppers and a Creedence Clearwater Revival song (really?). Then it segues into idealistic barking by editor Ben Bradlee (a cariacatured Tom Hanks) and ends with the happily-ever-after falseness of the hulking presses churning to life.

Amazing as it is to say, director Steven Spielberg adds little wow to the film’s deadline mania. Too many sequences feel predictable: bespectacled editors in shirt-sleeves pouring over documents while Bradlee’s wife (a wasted Sarah Paulson) heroically serves sandwiches. Lincoln and Bridge of Spies positively vibrated with procedural density; here the filmmaker plays it too cool. And yet, Spielberg is sensitive to Graham’s exclusion, dwarfing her among the mansplainers until the tables finally turn.

Undeniably, The Post is timely, but in our current era of “fake news” and an easily swayed public, it’s actually a dinosaur. Our moment could use something sharper.

The bottom line
Solid but not amazing. Though Streep is great.

By Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

The Post

  • Duration: 116
  • Released: Thu, 18 Jan
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson

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