Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are brilliant in Spielberg's news drama

The Post Featurettes- Steven Spielberg- Meryl Streep

The film revolves around the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post's Katharine Graham played by Streep who is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee played by Tom Hanks.

She's also trying to take her newspaper public by selling stock in the company, so she doesn't need any trouble that could affect the price. Whether this depiction is true or not - and the real-life Graham indeed confessed to a lack of self-confidence fostered by the sexism surrounding her - the screenwriters clearly see it as a dramatic necessity to tee up an eventual heroic climax of fearless conviction on Graham's part. More importantly, she would be long gone before the newspaper would pass on to Amazon and Jeff Bezos.

Meryl Streep says she's "shocked" that Tom Hanks, her costar in The Post, hasn't gotten an Oscar nomination in almost two decades. Graham reminds him of his close friendship with the Kennedys, and how that compromised Bradlee's journalistic integrity.

The movie takes place in 1971.

But The New York Times is one up on the Post when a few explosive classified documents on the United States government's involvement with the Vietnam War make it to their front pages. The revelations that the US government had for years known the Vietnam War was a lost cause set off massive protests. Inserted as a military strategist under the Pentagon's Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs John McNaughton, he's observing the war first hand. The report, leaked to the Times by a former Pentagon analyst, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys), details how top officials in the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations knew the war was impossible to win, but lied to the public to keep it going at an added cost of thousands of USA service members' lives.

The two, who received a Golden Globes nomination for the script, were on the set as Spielberg began filming May 30. She hadn't been able to find how to use her own voice.

Not only does the film display the editorial and legal difficulties Kay faced, but also how unusual it was to be a woman in such a high position at a company, with Meryl attracted to the idea of playing a groundbreaking figure for women in both business and the media. The gratitude and pride they bathe upon Graham, and the reciprocal feeling reflected back at them by Streep, is the sort of moment that puts a lump in the toughest throat.

Graham, then 54, was never prepared to run the newspaper.

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And in that frame, stands Ben Bradlee, far from this coterie, just looking at Kay and waiting for her decision. Maybe you've heard of him?

Directed by Steven Spielberg.

"The Post" is now playing in theaters. Real Sunday afternoon TNT fare.

But Spielberg couldn't have known that "The Post" would connect even more deeply with another national conversation, that of the #MeToo movement, of women speaking out against sexism and harassment.

"I love men", said Streep, noting the speeches of Hanks and "Call Me By Your Name" star Timothee Chalamet, the breakthrough actor victor. Sarah Paulson, who plays Tony, Ben's wife, is in the film for this one dialogue but it is an important one at a crucial juncture. He gives off a "too old to screw around" vibe.

For me, "The Post" was about much more than that. The film is a tribute to the people that do good work and are willing to hold the powerful accountable. This Dreamworks/20th Century Fox film has already received numerous accolades and with a limited release in December, it qualifies as a swift competitor at this year's Academy Awards. Steven Spielberg is nothing short of Shakespeare of cinema and his language very more than any director in the history as he will be coming out with a science fiction story about a agme called Ready Player One in no time.

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association.

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