Movie Review: The Post, A Spielberg Movie

This is my first movie review I have ever written, but this movie, The Post directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer resonated with me. The movie will resonate with most pre-millennial age women. It is, however, a movie women and girls of all ages should watch and learn. Not only because Meryl Streep is brilliant in the starring role as Katherine Graham, but she captures the very essence of what it is like to be a woman of that era, and sadly, in some ways still today.

(My review may contain movie spoilers… you’ve been warned.)

It was unintentional that my husband and I went to see this movie on the day of the 2018 Women’s March. And to be honest, I had not read any reviews about this movie and only saw glimpses of the trailer on television, starring Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham and Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee. It was this movie that capped off a day of seeing women across America seeking the empowerment that Katherine Graham could never have imagined.

Captivating Scenes

There are many scenes in this movie that resonated with me and not just scenes of Katherine Graham. Scenes of Katherine practicing her presentation to persuade bankers to support her efforts to take the company, The Post in a public offering and then only to crash and burn in silence when the time came in the boardroom.

Ben Bagdikian, played by Bob Odenkirk, who is simply remarkable in this role, comes face to face with answering his own journalistic purpose when confronted with assuring Daniel Ellsberg played by Mathew Rhys that he will publish what has come to be known as the Pentagon Papers.

But there are two scenes that still bring tears as I write this review that were so moving and played so brilliantly by Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks that made it clear for me what the Women’s March of today means.

Katherine Graham is in her granddaughter’s bedroom watching them sleep and she is trying to read a note written by her daughter right after Katherine’s husband had died. Her daughter walks in the room and reads the letter because Katherine does not have her reading glasses. I will never forget the look in Katherine’s face, the softness in her voice and even more so, the look in her eyes in that incredibly reckoning and moving scene.

And the scene that really had me crying as I sat there in the movie theatre, is when Katherine stands up to her patronizing male advisors in that darkened study in her home. While Tom Hanks did a standup job of portraying Ben Bradlee (it wasn’t his best role, but I don’t know who else could have played Ben better), does not say one word, but the look on his face tells me that he is enjoying not just a Katherine’s decision but more importantly Katherine coming into her own as the head of her father’s publishing empire with her courageous decision.

Side Bar: Meryl Streep

Whatever you believe about Meryl Streep and her relationship with Harvey Weinstein, you cannot deny that she is a cinematic treasure of all time. I was wary about Meryl’s statements that she did not know about Harvey’s predatory behavior. I bring this up in this review because she plays a woman from my mother’s era and my era who often were conditioned to look away or believe that “boys will be boys.” And remembering my own #MeToo experiences, I believe it is possible that Meryl did not know (should have known? I don’t know in her case or in my own).

Hoot Rating

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, the movie, The Post, directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer receives an enthusiastic 5-Hoot Rating!

P.S. As always, John Williams musical score is beautifully powerful.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

Final word

And for the men (and sadly too, the women) who may mock this review because of my reference to the 2018 Women’s March and begin chanting Helen Reddy’s song, I am Woman, Hear Me Roar. All I have to say about that is, I feel sorry for you and especially those around you. The Women’s March is about empowerment. We don’t need to agree on every topic relevant to women, but women will no longer be looked through, looked up and down, or looked past again. I want any future granddaughter of mine to be recognized and respected as an intelligent human being worthy of anything she puts her heart and mind in pursuing.

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(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved

Review: Uncommon Type, Some Stories by Tom Hanks

My oldest son’s girlfriend gave me for Christmas, Tom Hanks’ book, Uncommon Type, Some Stories, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, © 2017. It is his first collection of fiction. Firstly, it was a very thoughtful gift. Secondly, how did she know I love short stories and how did she know I love Tom Hanks? And lastly, why did I not know about this book?? For the love of scotch, it’s a New York Times Best Seller!

Proverbial nice guy, now author

I love Tom Hanks, the actor and from what I can gather from his appearances off-screen, he is an all-around good guy. I can go on and on how much I love Tom Hanks, the actor. I have watched all his movies not once, but several times. There are too many Tom Hanks to have just one favorite. I loved them all.

I knew Tom Hanks has a collection of typewriters. At the beginning of each chapter in his book is a black and white photo of a typewriter. Each chapter a different typewriter. I love typewriters too, and I found the photos just as intriguing as the short stories themselves.

Tom Hanks book.jpg

Uncommon Type, Some Stories

As I started reading the first short story in the book, Three Exhausting Weeks, I heard Tom Hank’s voice narrating the story in my head. Then I began to see Tom Hanks as the narrator in the story. Now there isn’t anything wrong with Tom Hank’s voice. He has a nice, comforting voice. And as I have said, I love Tom Hanks, the actor but I couldn’t concentrate on the story because, I kept envisioning, well, Tom Hanks.

Fortunately, after a few stories in the book, Tom Hank’s voice began dissipating and I was able to really read the stories myself. I loved the stories, some more than others, even the first story, Three Exhausting Weeks because that story has been well just so like Tom Hanks. The stories are much like stories you would see Tom Hanks, the actor. If you like Tom Hanks movies, you will enjoy his first collection of short stories.

The book’s aesthetics

I am curious as to why the publisher printed this book in its’ size and format. The book is 8-1/4” by 5” with teeny tiny type. The cover is attractive enough, but the font type is so damn small! There are 17 short stories in this collection and certainly enough to make the book look legitimate in length even in a bigger font.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, Uncommon Type, Some Stories, written by Tom Hanks earned a 4-1/2 Hoot Rating.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale 4 and half star

SIDEBAR:

On my personal Facebook page on Christmas Day, I polled my friends and family:

Facebook Poll
I guess I don’t have very many friends and family because I only received 9 votes…. though I did receive some interesting comments.

My point of the poll was to see if others felt the same as I do about audiobooks. Obviously, not since the poll and the comments were in favor of listening to audiobooks are the same as reading them. While I have nothing against audiobooks because they provide storytelling enjoyment while driving in the car or for “readers” who suffer from dyslexia, for example; but I do NOT believe it is the same as reading the book myself. If listening to an audiobook were the same as reading the book, there would be less imaginative books being written.

Here’s my logic.

If I am listening to the story being told by someone else, I am not imagining the story in my own voice in my head. When I read I am imagining the story without the celebrity of a narrator, who may read the same exact words at a different tempo, with a different inflection or tone of voice which in my opinion could alter the story’s scenery in mood or environment. I don’t find audiobooks to be enjoyable. I want to come away from the story with my own interpretation of the story and I would hope it would be much more interesting than someone reading it to me.

Is it cheating? Only if you told me you read the book when in fact you listened to being read to you. Otherwise, it is just going to see the play, musical or movie. And as we all know, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.

Happy Reading!

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Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot here at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com. I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl.

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved