The Post Is Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, & Meryl Streep’s Anti-Trumpism Oscar Bait Love Letter to the Free Press
Steven Spielberg has built a career on making Very Important Movies. But what’s Spielberg to do when he wants to out-Spielberg himself? How do you up those already excessive levels of epic nostalgia for Great American Ideals? You cast Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Spielberg, Hanks, and Streep have teamed up for The Post, a period piece about a historic attack on the free press. If you’re playing Academy Award bingo, I’m pretty sure that hit every square.
Just hours after Spielberg announced he’d finished working on The Post, the trailer had a surprise debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Colbert compared it to “a Marvel trailer if Meryl Streep was playing Thor.”
The Post tells the story of the Pentagon Papers, which were documents that proved the Johnson administration lied to both the American people and Congress about the full scope of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The documents were leaked to the Washington Post, as well as the New York Times. After publishing articles based on the papers, the Post was subjected to attempted censorship by the U.S. government.
There have been a number of movies out this year that began production before Trump’s election, which now feel disturbingly relevant, even more so because that relevance was unintentional. This is not one of those movies. This relevance is distinctly deliberate.
Spielberg announced this movie in March of this year, making this an incredibly fast turnaround for Oscar season. This is a film about an administration feeding lies to the American public and attempting to censor the journalists reporting on those lies, and it comes from three of the biggest names in modern film history. The message here is clear, and it is pointed.
Plus, we get to see Meryl Streep smile in the face of misogyny with a grin that feels like it could swallow men whole.
The Post will have a limited release on December 22nd (just sneaking under the awards season deadline), with a wide release January 12th.
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