by David Sheehan

“THE POST” may not be the most exciting movie title you’ll ever see, but the movie called “THE POST” is definitely one of the most intellectually and emotionally exciting movies you’ll ever see, in this or any other movie year.

“THE POST” goes inside the heart and soul of a late 1960s journalistic journey revolving around the release of ‘The Pentagon Papers’, when The Washington Post published thousands of pages of secret Defense Department documents ‘leaked’ by an insider whistleblower named Daniel Ellsberg. The story-telling zeroes in on truth-telling, regardless of the difficulty in doing so.

With Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post, and Tom Hanks as its editor, Ben Bradlee, “THE POST” tells the story of what it took to get those ‘secrets’ made public and into print. It’s a mind-bending mental thriller impeccably orchestrated by director Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks truly does inhabit his character in ways reminiscent of what he did with his Oscar-winning performances in “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump”, leaving his Hanks persona behind to totally become the crusading editor who fights many printing press battles in pursuit of getting those ‘Pentagon Papers' onto his front page, to be followed by front pages all over the country.

It’s another Oscar for Tom for sure.

Without any sermonizing from any protest pulpit, “THE POST” allows moviegoers to experience the exquisite drama of free-press newspapering at its best, with quick quips of humor spicing up the super-serious proceedings along the way.

And the real meat of the matter comes through loud and clear, as those secret ‘Pentagon Papers' speak for themselves, exposing our government’s deceptive lying about the war in Vietnam. Exposing those lies to the public in print helped push President Nixon in 1973 to finally stop sending American soldiers to slaughter the 4 million Vietnamese people killed in the war, while 58,000 of our troops were slaughtered themselves. This after four previous Presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson) had lied their way into justifying our grossly misplaced ‘national pride’ part in the lop-sided two-sided Vietnam genocide. These are just a few of the facts found in the ‘Pentagon’ papers as printed in the ‘News’ papers, thanks to the Post, and now thanks to the movie “THE POST”.

It’s all there in one 2-hour feature film, which ends with a short slice-of-life start of what’s to come next: the “Watergate” scandal, another journalistic triumph fostered by The Washington Post and recounted in “All The Presidents Men”, with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman playing Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, a movie that won an Oscar, by the way, for Jason Robards as the same Ben Bradlee editor character played by Hanks this time around.

“They don’t make ‘em like they used to” is a common complaint these days about Hollywood movies.
But “THE POST” says quite the opposite:
“Yes they do!”

® All programs are productions of David Sheehan's Hollywood Close-Ups, Inc.