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Film Review: ‘The Post’ Illuminates the Skills of Meryl Streep

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CHICAGO – For all the films Meryl Streep is privileged to make – which is remarkable considering the industry’s attitude toward older actresses – she has even admitted that the audience may be tired of seeing her. But as publisher Katherine Graham in ‘The Post’, she nails yet another great performance.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Katherine Graham was the owner/publisher of the Washington Post newspaper, taking the reins in 1963 after the previous owner, her husband Phillip, committed suicide. She stayed in that position until 1979, and oversaw the paper’s evolution into an investigative exposer of truth, including the infamous Watergate report series which took down President Richard M. Nixon. “The Post” focuses on a story that came right before Watergate, the publishing of the “Pentagon Papers.” These “Papers” were essentially a classified history of the Vietnam War, put together by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, revealing the mistakes and folly of the U.S. government for their involvement in that war… and caused a sensation when they were published. The film – directed by Steven Spielberg – is an absorbing step-by-step process behind the publishing of those Papers, and Graham’s involvement in the decisions she had to make to approve publication, which in turn took on Nixon (again) and the U.S. Government.

In 1970, President Nixon was still mired in the Vietnam War, which was being rejected by the U.S. citizens. Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys), an employee of the defense industry RAND corporation, decided to take matters into his own hands by copying the classified “Pentagon Papers,” and sending them to the New York Times, who began publishing them in June of 1971.

The Nixon Administration got a court order to stop publication, and the Times had to kill the story. At the same time, The Washington Post and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) received their copies of the same classified material, and publishing them would defy the court order. The owner of The Post, Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), must ultimately make that difficult decision.

”The Post” continues its limited release in Chicago on January 5th, with a nationwide release January 12th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie and Michael Stuhlbarg. Written by Liz Hanna and Josh Singer. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Post”

Post1
Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham in ‘The Post’
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Post”

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