THE POST – REVIEW – All the President’s Men gets a prequel.
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in a Steven Spielberg film about the Washington Post and the publication of the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon presidency. This should be nailed on Oscar glory and guaranteed quality all the way through. Not to mention with the Trump war on Fake News and the Free Press, there’s an urgency to getting this right. And yet… and yet…
It seems as if an air of complacency set in somewhere around the story conference stage. There’s very little drama here. There’s precious little politics. And although Spielberg is obviously in love with the thingness of things – heavy telephones, newsprint and hair cream – the period doesn’t even fell right. It feels more fifties than seventies.
Part of the problem is that everything is centered around Streep as the publisher and owner of the paper. This sucks the drama from the picture. There’s no David and Goliath here. It’s more Goliath and a smaller Goliath with huge Maggie Thatcher hair and a series of night gowns. Christ almighty, can we get Meryl out of the night gowns for just five seconds please!?
Tom Hanks walks around like white bread made flesh. And all the events of great moment come down to a simple decision made by someone very rich who might become slightly less rich. And lose a couple of her politician friends.
Obviously, it’s unfair to compare the film to All the President’s Men, except the film actually does it itself.
So let’s just say it’s shitter than All the President’s Men.