All-Star cast carries “The Post”

Great leads help “The Post” deliver on opening weekend.


Samuel Murphy, Content Editor

On Friday, The Washington Post was not only delivered to newstands across the country, but also made its way to the big screen.

For a film with an all-star cast, including Meryl Streep (Kay Graham) and Tom Hanks (Ben Bradlee) as the leads, and under the direction of Steven Spielberg, it seemed to slip under the radar.

Based on the true story of The Pentagon Papers and the case of New York Times Co v. United States, the film doesn’t offer the same action as Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan,” “Jurassic Park” or “Indiana Jones.” However, the film does bring a similar suspense and drama throughout.

Streep plays the role of Kay Graham, the publisher and president of The Washington Post at the time The Pentagon Papers were published, and delivers an absolutely brilliant performance that should earn her another Oscar nomination. The pressures Streep’s character goes through making decisions throughout the movie can be felt by everyone in the audience.

Streep’s character is also the main focus of one of the underlying themes for the movie. With the film set in the early 70s, it is made clear that a woman being in charge is not part of the norm.

Streep perfectly depicts the struggles of being a woman in charge during the time. At various parts of the film, is the only woman in the room, surrounded by dozens of men pulling at her from both sides for important decisions.

It’s not often, if ever, that Tom Hanks takes a backseat as the star of a film. He does in this one, but only because of how strong a performance Streep puts on.

Hanks plays Ben Bradlee, the executive editor of The Washington Post, in a role which he is not seen in very often. Bradlee is somewhat of a “pirate,” as he is described in the film, in that he doesn’t like playing by the rules much. However, he is also one of the main defenders of the First Amendment throughout the movie.

On their own, the two deliver fantastic performances, but it is the scenes where they are together that will captivate audiences. The duo has great dialogue and their back and forth provide some of the better scenes for the movie.

The supporting cast all also deliver great performances in their roles. Bob Odenkirk (Ben Bagdikian), Sarah Paulson (Tony Bradlee), Bruce Greenwood (Robert McNamara), Alison Brie (Lally Graham), Jesse Plemons (Roger Clark) and Bradley Whitford (Arthur Parsons) all only add to the greatness the two leads bring to the film.

Odenkirk steals the show from the rest of the supporting cast, because he too is in a role he is typically not seen in. He plays a much more serious role as opposed to his typical comedic relief role and delivers a really good performance alongside Hanks.

Outside of the great cast, the wardrobe and set design in the film are spot on and make the audience truly feel as if they are back in the early 70s.

Overall, the strong leads and perfect casting carry the film and perfectly tells the true story of The New York Times and The Washington Post and their landmark First Amendment battle against the United States government. Head out to see it if you get the chance, and be sure to drive safe.