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The Post a timely tale of power of the press

14 January 2018

Meanwhile, while the movie is unspooling across movie screens nationwide tonight, it has the potential to pick up eight awards at the Critics Choice Awards, airing at 8 p.m. on the CW. Graham was close with McNamara and other powerful Washington insiders; they were often at her house, enjoying cocktails and insider chatter, even as Bradlee and his reporters were trying to unearth the dirt.

Tough decisions are made every day by news organizations.

The platoon starts taking heavy fire in a wooded area and the body bags start to fill at a high rate. The focus of the story is the 47-volume internal report, known as the Pentagon Papers, that Defense Secretary Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) commissioned. Komer is organizing the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support program for Vietnam.

When Bagdikian asks Ellsberg why he is acting so courageously, Ellsberg responds, "Wouldn't you go to prison to stop the war?"

Daniel Ellsberg stole the study and released it as the Pentagon Papers. So begins a risky war of nerves as Ellsberg leaks the information to the press. 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. President Richard Nixon is obviously not amused.

The Post Meryl Streep Tom Hanks Steven Spielberg are all smiles at Britain premiere of the film
The Post a timely tale of power of the press

That's the real meat of the movie and it happens in the first ten minutes.

Journalistic films are usually about the news-gathering beat, but The Post is more than that. Still, she is afraid that the federal government might shut down the Post - her family's newspaper is at stake. Though it makes for a nice shiny movie, "The Post" would have benefited from a little grit. You get a glimpse of people who have led lives, across cities, classes, genders, leading up to this moment, and you particularly understand what it means for the film's two main protagonists - Streep as Graham, and Hanks as The Post's legendary editor Ben Bradlee. After the New York Times is prohibited from publishing the papers, the Washington Post receives the documents and Katherine Graham, the first female newspaper publisher, and Ben Bradlee, her editor, have to decide whether to publish the papers and face the repercussions that will follow. He wants a piece of the pie. It's a love letter to newspapers and a thumb in the eye to those who try to silence them.

The newspaper business is not all glitz, glamor and games and the film does drop a few lines on their shady tactics. Didn't he get one for Captain Phillips?

At the time of the Pentagon Papers controversy, the Post had just become a publicly traded company, and Graham anxious that the defiant move, putting the newspaper at odds with the federal government, would give investors the jitters. He's not to tell them who he works for, but to contact one of their reporters Neil Sheehan (Justin Swain) and find out what he's working on. The project fell together very quickly a year ago, when fledgling screenwriter Liz Hannah's script attracted the interest of Steven Spielberg's longtime producing partner Amy Pascal, along with Spielberg and Meryl Streep (who plays Katharine Graham, The Washington Post's publisher and company president). It is "Rated PG-13 for language and brief war violence". The New York Times on Tuesday canceled a "TimesTalk" conversation with the filmmaker and his brother and co-star, Dave Franco, after actress Violet Paley and filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan on Twitter accused Franco of earlier instances of sexual misconduct. And, in my entire span of 49 years professionally directing, I've never had a film come together this quickly.

This week, the two stars from The Post stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show and of course the show's host, Ellen DeGeneres, had one of her fun games ready for them.

The Post a timely tale of power of the press