The Post (2017)

the postWhile this film has a commendable and important story to tell, one quite timely with what is going on in American politics today, unfortunately this film is weighed down by issues of its own making: if ever a film could be described as Oscarbait, this is it. You can see it in the starry cast, the stirring John Williams score, and all Spielberg’s old worst habits. Slow, ponderous cranking-in of the camera during solemn and oh-so-important monologues (hey! Oscar! its me!), manipulative score… (I don’t like using the word ‘manipulative’, all films are manipulative, its what they do, but some are worse than others).

When Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) leaves the courtroom in triumph, the camera pans down in a long crane shot following her down the steps, and suddenly the crowd she walks through are all women, and all are giving her silent, admiring and supportive stares, as if suddenly the film has become a hymn to feminine self-empowerment.  The achievement is real, the sentiment is fine, but the execution is as clumsy as anything Spielberg put us through in his early years. Its a really ham-fisted and ill-judged moment that yanked me straight out of the movie, an example of Spielberg at his worst.

Perhaps the films lofty ambitions got the better of Spielberg and his team. Certainly the story should be enough, its a good story and yes, relevant to our times, but goodness its self-importance is overwhelming. There’s a sense throughout that this isn’t ‘just’ a movie, that there’s something else going on, and its got everything to do with Awards season I fear. Pulled away from that with the distance of time, it leaves the film feeling awkward. I’m quite surprised to see Spielberg in this (dare I say cynical?) mode.

So, not a terrible movie, but yes an awkward waste of all the talent involved that leaves it feeling oddly amateur.


2 thoughts on “The Post (2017)

  1. EditMSM

    I had moderately high hopes for this, and saw it in the cinema. Huge disappointment.

    I loved seeing so many great TV actors turning up in the background, keeping things buzzing, but the two Movie Stars in the foreground were a massive distraction: I never felt I was watching anything remotely real – just two great big performances blotting everything else out.

    The other thing that wore me out was the way Spielberg films his period movies…
    Munich is a partial exception, but Catch Me If You Can, Bridge Of Spies and now this all share the same burnished, glossy look: all diffused light and sunbeams and almost ‘candied’ production design. It’s really pretty and really boring.

    I liked the poster a lot though.

  2. Ian Smith

    Spielberg seems to be going backwards, on paper Ready Player One should have been great, instead it was ‘meh’. If he had referenced all his own 80s films it would have been at least interesting in a “meta-reality” or nostalgic way but he chose to steer clear.

    I really didn’t care for Lincoln either. Maybe Spielberg is going the way of Ridley. Which makes me consider that Carpenter may have been smart stepping aside from shooting movies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s