On the 1st of February the new film by Steven Spielberg with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks was released in Italian cinemas. Given the premises I think it is useless to tell you that it is a great movie. Rather, I want to reflect on five things that make The Post an even better film.
The story told by the film revolves around the decision by the owner and publisher of the Washington Post to publish or not confidential state documents. These stolen folders reveal uncomfortable truths about the war in Vietnam that for years the governement had tried to keep hidden. Perhaps not exactly the most interesting and thrilling event that has ever been told on the screen. As a result, before watching the film I had a vague fear that was going to be boring and slow. Well, it isn’t either boring or slow at all!
Despite its length of over two hours, the film never feels weak: the rhythm is always tight and there is not a moment when you wonder how more long that is take to the end. The screenplay doesn’t limits itself to blandly narrating the story, but rather takes the opportunity to address in detail topics such as the role of women in society, political obscurantism, the importance of freedom of the press … In short, The Post it is in no way a boring or heavy film.
Another note of merit must surely be attributed to the dialogues. Because the words spoken in The Post do not seem at all like words spoken in a film. What do I mean? For once, what the characters say on the screen does sound natural and not forced. The voices in the discussions are often overlaping, having the courage to become unintelligible. The characters are never silent, quietly waiting for the end of the line of the others, in order to start their own.
This merit has to be attributed partially to the actors, but mostly to the writers. In fact, it’s quite rare to find screenplays written by people who are able to show the natural flow of conversations on the page and, consequently, on the screen. This is why Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, the writers, deserve recognition.
Do we really need to say it? Once again Meryl confirms herself to be an excellent actress who’s able to give life to the character in a perfect way while assureing to herself another Oscar nomination. The Kay Graham that she puts on the screen is a woman of culture and intelligent. A woman used to how things go in the world at her time. In the America of the ’70s men are responsible for all decision-making and power roles. It’s extraordinary the minimalist way in which the actress shows the calm but irrepressible change in her character. Before our eyes Kay finds the courage to assert her decision and firmness not to be reprimanded by men who do not respect her opinions.
As much as Meryl, Tom Hanks is perfect for the role. His character is rendered with extreme skill by the actor and the chemistry and understanding with his colleague are indisputable. All this is clear in the scene where the two sit at a restaurant table and have a heated conversation. Their talent is such as to allow the director to keep the same shot without cutting for several minutes. The result is not two acting actors, but two living and real characters discussing. Every nuance is perfect, every minimum silence is full of meaning. What to say, Meryl and Tom are an extraordinary couple.
If the two protagonists can be considered a pillar of the film, the support of the entire structure is on the shoulders of the director. And Steven Spielberg here does not disappoint at all. Every detail is perfect: the settings, the music, the direction of the actor, the shots. Nothing escapes Spielberg’s meticulous eye, even if during the filming of The Post he was also involved in the post-production phase of Ready Player One, due to be released the 30th of March 2018.