Streep. Hanks. Spielberg. Oscar? Please. Frances is better off in Missouri. With two nods (for Queen Meryl and the movie) after leading the pack at the Globes, this intrepid and alarmingly uncanny account that exposes the massive cover-up of government secrets spanning three decades has gained access to both critics’ pads and viewers’ hearts.
Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep)
Set in 1971’s Washington D.C., this six-time Golden Globe contender shines a spotlight on the unflinching quest for truth led by the iconic newspaper’s publisher and editor, Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee. Facing imprisonment and likely, the end of their careers, she must decide to green-light the publication of the renowned Pentagon Papers. As you will remember from the beginning of this paragraph, the early 70s were still very much a man’s world, and despite having earned every millimeter of ink, the honorable publisher was often talked over or underestimated.
Left to make the paramount decision of whether to unmask a corrupt Nixon administration and be personally singled out –it leaving an indelible stain on the paper’s reputation she so fought hard to safeguard– Kay eventually authorizes the move and all hell was loose… for the better.
Kay gives a discerning look to one of his (male) colleagues
Writing about how Meryl Streep excels herself over and over forces me to edit all my previews reviews. Because in this movie, we see a bold yet cautious, groundbreaking but unassuming, discreet but lauded protagonist who is her own person. None of her previous characters –Miranda, Clarissa, Jane, Francesca, Donna, Madeline or even Margaret– bear resemblance to her because she makes the movie. She builds the narrative with all the tiny gestures, looks, sighs and postures we fans take such enormous pleasure in, and that, in a nutshell, explain the power of Meryl Streep’s presence.
Another reason her Kay Graham feels so real and urgent is the real life performer’s journalistic moment last year: after calling out the absolute lack of compassion and decency of the current administration while risking her own 45-year-old golden reputation, Meryl warned that “violence invites violence” and asked to support the Committee of Journalists to “safeguard the truth.” Her real-life principles and sheer grit and grace made her the obvious choice, and we’re infinitely grateful.
The lady makes the decisions
Hanks, on his part, is brilliant as the potty-mouthed, forward-thinking editor Ben Bradlee. His performance has been deemed one of his recent best and makes his fifth collaboration with Spielberg an enormously enjoyable one. The supporting cast (TV blue-eyed kids Odenkirk and Paulson) cunningly serve as the narrative’s supporters, voicing the comments of surprise and admiration we movie-goers hold in our minds as we watch. Costumes are on absolute point, and the script… well, the script deserves another paragraph (keep reading!).
Written by first-time screenwriters Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, the theme of the prom tour has been “2017 was the year to make this movie.” “Treason,” “collusion,” “delegitimization of the press…” All the key terms are discreetly wrapped, seamlessly drawing the parallels between two corrupt, silencing and unwanted administrations where groundbreaking change is painfully desired – you get a car for guessing that. (I know, I’m Gemini.) So, now time’s up on gender inequality, let’s keep working to ensure time’s up on not having consequences of a dangerous President’s actions.
Get yourself queen-sized popcorn and go see this movie today. A masterfully portrayed account about truth, justice, equality and guts. It’s a great one.
Original release: January 12, 2018.
Country: United States.
Awards: 6 Golden Globe nominations.
All images are taken from Google.