“The Post” is for any aspiring journalist a cry to our passions and the yearn for an untold story. To the public, it is a reminder of the immense need for a free press. It is both timely and timeless.
“The Post,” directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, centers around the 1971 Washington Post struggling amongst tough competition and a decision to publish the Pentagon Papers. Meryl Streep playing Katharine Graham, owner of the Washington Post, and Tom Hanks playing Ben Bradlee, executive editor, fuse their big star personas into a compelling story of courage and grit.
It is not a surprise that on Tuesday, “The Post” was nominated for two Oscars including best picture. Meryl Streep was nominated for best actress in a leading role, increasing her lifetime nominations to an impressive 21.
“The Post” has been fittingly nominated for numerous awards thus far including six Golden Globes. These include Spielberg’s nomination for best film director and Hanks’ nomination for best actor, but both missed Oscar nominations.
“The Post” is a story about handling stress with grace. Streep plays Graham with her quiet, yet, resolved demeanor. Spielberg uses his iconic style to characterize the nervous woman who pushes beyond her time to become the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Similarly, Hanks shows no fear in playing the role of Bradlee, although, Jason Robards won an Oscar in his portrayal of the editor in “All the President’s Men.” Hanks brings a tough attitude and a witty sense of humor, keeping the plot fast paced and highly entertaining.
In the movie, Graham reminds us that it is never too late to become what we are meant to be. She proves that quiet or motherly are neither disqualifications for monumental leadership or risky undertakings. Graham uses her soft spoken demeanor to project a clear decision in printing the Pentagon Papers, unequivocally challenging the government.
The late Ben Bradlee is by any sense of the word a legend. As the editor of the Washington Post during the publishing of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, Bradlee repeatedly fought for uncovering truth, collecting Pulitzers along the way. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Bradlee the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
A line in The Post from the Supreme Court’s ruling truly epitomizes the heart of the film and our need to this day.
“The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.”