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.
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).
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.
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.
The Blogging Owl
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