Wow, this is the first one I’m doing on my own. Kind of daunting. I’m not a huge movie person. I love TV shows, but movies usually don’t do it for me. You need to have quick character arcs and be catchy whereas shows have so many episodes to lay out the characters.
But, I really loved this movie.
Streep is amazing as usual, something that I’ll talk more about later. Hanks is amazing as well, but his character wasn’t exactly someone I would like. Then, there’s a huge cast outside of that. Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Matthew Rhys, Bruce Greenwood, etc. And the story is prescient for the time that we’re living in.
That was one of the things that I enjoyed, and there was two. For those who don’t know, and I didn’t know it, this focuses on the Pentagon Papers. They were basically a study of the state of the Vietnam War from presidents Truman through Nixon. Basically, it exposed that the government knew by the mid-1960s that the war was pointless, yet they stayed in the war.
And then The New York Times published something about them. And Nixon had something filed to stop it from happening. And then the Washington Post got their hands on thousands of the pages. The big question was: Do they publish and risk everything or do they sit on it and allow freedom of speech to die?
Spoiler: They published them and won against the president in the Supreme Court, allowing the freedom of speech to stand.
I thought this story was extremely prescient because Trump is basically a neo-Nixon. He has an enemy list. He thinks about bugging people. He is involved in shady dealings. There are more similarities, but you can look them up yourself. The most important one is the hatred of the media and the attempt to block it. Nixon and Trump have both blocked the media, making personal vendettas out of reporters.
It’s scary. The media represents the governed, not the governors, as the Supreme Court said in their ruling over this case. And now we’re at a time where that’s forgotten.
The second thing that I loved was Kay Graham, who ran the Washington Post after her husband’s suicide. She was a very stereotypical woman. Housewife, never worked a job, very proud when her father gave the family business over to her husband. Yet, when he died, she had to take over something she never expected to. And she was timid. She let men walk all over her. Part of the story in this is her growing a backbone, becoming her own woman, and becoming the owner of a top-notch newspaper.
Some of what was said in the movie, about traditional women and how hard it was to break the mold, was so gorgeous. I think that my favorite lines were said by Sarah Paulson, who had a very minor role, about how brave Graham was with her decisions in life. I saw this movie with my mom and it made my mom cry because of how true it was.
I also thought that the positioning of the men in the movie in relation to Graham was so smartly done, then you have Streep’s acting as her and how amazing she imparted all the things going through Graham’s head without saying a damn word.
This movie was absolutely amazing in all ways, especially with today’s climate and showing us how far women have come and still how far they have to go in the world. I hope that all of you watch it if you have a chance.