Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Is 'The Post' Movie Based On A True Story?

Is 'The Post' Movie Based On A True Story?

Donald Trump doesn't secretly record meetings and telephone conversations.

The three-time Academy Award victor, speaking in London alongside director Steven Spielberg and co-star Tom Hanks, said the 63-year-old has shown presidential qualities. As she says, "We will carry on in the tradition that has been so well set".

In the end, Kathryn Graham decides the paper, despite its precarious financial position, must publish, and not let government get away with suppressing the freedom of the press.

As much as "The Post" is a film about spy-vs. -spy journalism, the heat of competition and governmental cover-ups, it's also a film about a woman coming into her own.

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This, of course, drives Bradlee nuts.

Meryl Streep in a scene from The Post.

Director Steven Spielberg uses the case to show how Katharine Graham dealt with a crisis of conscience - does she listen to her editor, Ben Bradlee, and publish the controversial documents regarding American involvement in Vietnam or does she keep the peace with her friends, many of whom are insiders in Richard Nixon's White House?

Will Oprah Winfrey be our first female president? (She sold the script just 10 days before the election.) Then came Trump's unexpected victory. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Suddenly, a screenplay set almost half a century in the past had a message that would deeply resonate with the present: that the press is meant to serve the governed, not the governors. 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. Production was set to begin 10 weeks later. Screenplay by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. She's understated. She's unsure of herself. He sees a chance for his regional paper to claw onto an equal footing with more prestigious rival publications in New York City, Chicago, and Boston.

"It was a different world".

As journalism goes through possibly the biggest crisis the profession has had to face since its inception, it's become increasingly clear that the public's perception of what a journalist looks like and what a journalist does is very much defined by the movies. "There was that woman who posed as a Roy Moore accuser to entrap the Washington Post". It is pretty good, but not good enough to get into award-win territory. And even when it is what you're getting, it's nice to have a lecturer with some style.

Streep in "The Post". You can read her disappointment and desire to seize the power that is her right as the publisher, but the surrounding men are belittling her.

"We are in a fight and it's a fight not just about alternative facts but it's a fight for the objective truth", said Spielberg. Why not tag as "fake news" the injunction sought by the Justice Department against The New York Times?

Comparisons to ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN is inevitable, and this is a worthy film to pair with that classic, but this is the story that preceded Watergate, and without which Watergate would not have happened. These recordings recur throughout The Post-accompanied by grainy footage shot from outside the building-to personalize a president at war with the press.

Spielberg structures THE POST like a thriller, racing a ticking-clock and filled with intrigue.

The Post isn't a great movie, but it is a timely one, and sometimes that's even better. No winks at the audience required.

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