by Sophia Contreras
Internationally renowned director Steven Spielberg began his year with the highly anticipated release of “The Post.” The movie included an A-List of highly acclaimed actors such as Tom Hanks, Meryl Steep and David Cross. Despite its high praise, sensationalism and relevance to modern-day journalism, Spielberg did not receive an Oscar nomination for his work on the film.
The film takes place in 1971 during the Vietnam War; in the opening scene, journalist Daniel Ellsberg—played by Matthew Rhys—is embedding himself with the American troops to report on the war. The film then follows Ellsberg as he releases confidential Pentagon papers that disclose the corrupt decision-making during the Vietnam War under President Harry Truman’s authority.
“The Post” also follows the first female publisher of The Washington Post, Katherine Graham, played by Meryl Streep. Graham is the only women in a room of men for most of the film and is blatantly undermined by some of her peers, until she affirms her position as publisher and decides to take a risk on following the story of Ellsberg, after the New York Times is forbidden from printing any related content to the Pentagon papers, due to national security.
Although many people in the theater have either lived through the events of the film or have read about it in school, the film is still able to hold an astonishing suspenseful tone throughout the whole film.
During the early release of the film, workers watched the film together and reflected on their thoughts; Marty Baron, the current executive editor of The Washington Post, said it’s “incredibly inspirational, it has all sorts of issues about the free press in this country, the importance of challenging authority and also about the role of women in our society.”
Other employees of The Washington Post praised the film for bringing relevancy to the work of modern-day journalists, especially in modern-day political reporting.
The film is rated at a whopping 88 percent by Rotten Tomatoes and has made over $3 million in box office sales. I would recommend this film for all those who have an interest in history, social justice, government and a need for suspense. The film is still available in theaters, and with its sky-rocketing box office sales, it’s safe to say it will stay in theaters for a while longer.