The Post (2018) Directed by Stephen Spielberg
Review by Andrew Cole
Halfway through this traditional newsroom drama, I realize how much I loved Spielberg. Being someone not born into the Spielberg hype induced era of the 1980s, My birth date takes place roughly in the “post cutesy spielberg era”, a few years past the release of Jurassic Park, when the name Spielberg was firmly past the hype of a new american blockbuster director, already established as a titan of american media culture. I have never been a modern Spielberg hater either, I truly believe that “Lincoln’ is among, if not his best film to date, and his other films post 2000, although inconsistent, to me highlight a director well into his prime continuing to evolve, moving past tropes that he himself might have made stale.
The Post is filled with such quiet elegance and a general laid back abstemious quality that elevates this traditional popcorn fair into a very delightful trip into the past colored by hyper saturated images and the graceful, commandeering presence of Meryl Streep. Stephen seems to know very well what is too much for a piece like this and every single time it nears the moment of reaching a “lifetime channel movie” quality in its more exposition driven scenes it rears back and pushes forward without any flogged momentum.
Hanks is awesome, with his hushy, toned down voice he uses when playing any sort of character that has a motive involving politics. He plays off Street so well, like two old friends they balance the tone between a sweet sentimentality for the freedom of the press and a captivating portrait of a man who just wants his name remembered. The inner-workings of a large newspaper is always a central point for investigative journalism films but for some reason many of the tradition Spielberg comedic montage filler scenes are mysteriously absent. Forgoing these filler scenes for more contact driven scenes between Street and the many men who inhabit the world of the newspaper industry, or highlighting Hanks battle and the anxiety of going through with something that is bigger than anybody.