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Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg director The Post

The Post Review

7 Jan

As a film about journalism, The Post is reasonably entertaining, driven by pros behind the camera and a great performance by Bob Odenkirk. As a film about Journalism, the film struggles to say what it wants to without falling into speechifying and ham-fisted messaging. I’m not going to give the film points for being “relevant to the Trump administration” or whatnot because what matters to me is the execution of that messaging. Unfortunately, the execution here leaves something to be desired. There are so many interesting angles this story can take, and many are in the film; take, for instance, the history of cozy relationships between the media and politicians and its impact on the situation at the time. It’s there, but it feels underdeveloped because it’s ultimately all in service of the safest storytelling mechanisms about capital J Journalism. I won’t judge the story for what it’s not–that is, a more in depth look at the Pentagon Papers themselves rather than a side view of sorts–because there are interesting ideas present in its chosen angle. Why, then, is it so thuddingly obvious to the point that it reduces a story about a woman in a man’s world to a scene in which that woman walks down the Supreme Court steps as a row of young women literally stare at her in awe? It’s interesting that certain arthouse films are criticized for being pretentious when a conventional film like this, one that takes no risks, imbues itself with an even bigger air of self importance. That doesn’t just apply to Streep’s storyline; it also applies to every grand statement made about the freedom and responsibility of the press.

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