Spielberg’s ‘The Post’ feels ripped from the headlines

You wouldn’t expect a movie that relies on pay phones, typewriters and Linotype — a method of printing only slightly more sophisticated than chiseling words into stone — to be the timeliest entry of the awards season.

It’s certainly the Time’s Up-iest.

Despite being set in 1971, “The Post” manages to feel ripped from the headlines, thanks to its president waging an unprecedented war against the media and its female protagonist finally standing up for herself after years of being told she didn’t belong.

The only way director Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” could be any more 2018 would be if Meryl Streep had stepped aside from portraying Washington Post Publisher Katharine “Kay” Graham in favor of Alyssa Milano or Rose McGowan.

When we first meet Graham and her legendary editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), their biggest concern is that the White House has banned one of their reporters from attending Tricia Nixon’s wedding. The Post eventually plasters coverage of the nuptials across its front page on the same day the rival New York Times blows the doors off newsrooms nationwide by publishing its first account of the stolen, classified documents — detailing how the government has spent decades lying about Vietnam — that would come to be known as the Pentagon Papers.

That may seem quaint in a post-WikiLeaks world, but it was a sensational, near-treasonous gamble on the part of the Times. The White House was so enraged that two days later, citing national security concerns, the paper was hit with a temporary injunction against publishing any further stories about those documents.

Since the injunction only covered the Times, Bradlee and his team finally had an opening. So when the Post gets a copy of more than half of the report — officially titled “History of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-66” — it’s up to Bradlee’s editors and reporters to comb through 4,000 pages, unnumbered and in no particular order, and craft a story. The Times had three months. In order to scoop the rest of the country, the Post has 10 hours.

Other than time, the only thing standing between Bradlee and his goal of transforming the Post from a local paper to a national powerhouse is the timid, indecisive Graham, who held her position only because her husband, who inherited the newspaper from her father, killed himself. The men in the boardrooms where she’s always been the only woman rarely let her forget that.

The decision to publish is ultimately hers, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. The Post is about to issue a public offering to raise enough money to stay in business, and the bankers behind the sale could cancel the sale in the case of a “catastrophic event” — such as, say, the paper’s publisher and editor being thrown in jail.

By balancing the high stakes of Bradlee’s quest to publish with Graham’s evolution into a leader, newcomer Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, an Oscar winner for “Spotlight,” have found a way to put a human face on this historic battle for freedom of the press.

When Bradlee talks about his bravery, he’s dismissed by his wife (Sarah Paulson) with an “Oh, Ben, please.”

“When you’re told time and time again that you’re not good enough, that your opinion doesn’t matter as much,” she says. “When they don’t just look past you, when to them you’re not even there. When that’s been your reality for so long, it’s hard not to let yourself think it’s true. So to make this decision, to risk her fortune and the company that’s been her entire life, well, I think that’s brave.”

Speaking of Paulson, a regular nominee for “American Horror Story” and a winner for “American Crime Story,” it’s as though Spielberg placed copies of the script in gift bags at the Emmys. The massively talented supporting cast includes nominees Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Carrie Coon and Jesse Plemons (“Fargo”) and two-time winner Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing”).

Then there’s Tracy Letts, who also stars in the awards-season darling “Lady Bird,” as Frederick “Fritz” Beebe, chairman of the board of The Washington Post Company.

If they publish, Fritz warns Graham, The Washington Post as they know it could cease to exist.

If they didn’t, The Washington Post as we know it never would have existed.


Movie: “The Post”

Running time: 115 minutes

Rating: PG-13; language and brief war violence

Grade: B

Now playing: At multiple locations

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like