Based on the true story of the Washington Post publishing leaked classified Pentagon papers on the involvement and events leading to the Vietnam War and ends with the start of the Watergate scandal.
Date watched: – 21st January 2018
Where watched: – Cineworld Whiteley
Director: – Steven Spielberg
Writer: – Liz Hannah & Josh Singer
Starring: – Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson and Bob Odenkirk
Awards: – Academy Awards Nominations for best picture and best actress (Meryl Streep), Critics Choice Awards Nominated for Best Ensemble, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Director, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Score (John Williams). Golden Globe Awards Nominated for Best Drama, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Score, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
This to me reminded me of a bit of Spotlight which uncovered the Boston Priest cover-up/scandal but to be honest I don’t think was as good as Spotlight.
The film starts during the Vietnam war where an observer Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) is observing American soldiers and they come under fire, we then cut to seeing him on the plan home and talking to the Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) where he says they’re not making any progress but McNamara tells the waiting press when they land and says things are improving, Ellsberg then sneaks classified documents out of the pentagon and along with 2 colleagues begins copying the documents when he finds that the current and past presidents have been covering up certain facts and how they’re lying to the press and American public.
Several years later the Washington Post is now led by Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) as the first main paper to be run by a women and receives a call from the White House banning the Washington Post from covering President Nixon daughters’ upcoming wedding, later Graham meets with her managing editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and suggest that they need to expand their coverage to attract more readers. Later McNamara visits Graham (They have been friends for a number of years) and warns her that the New York Times are going to be post something unflattering about him, Graham passes this on to Bradlee to try and find out so Bradlee sends an Intern to New York to find out what the story is and when he brings back a rough outline of the front page Bradlee is not best pleased. The Times then publishes a story from the Pentagon Papers and carries on for a few days whilst the Post try and obtain copies of the papers as are losing out big time to the Times. Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) finally tracks down Dan Ellsberg and arranges to meet him where he has over 1000 pages of the papers and informs Bradlee he needs an extra seat on the plane and Bradlee gets the rest of senior journalist where they try and work out a front page for the next day but as the Government has won an injunction to ban the Times from posting extracts from the papers Bradlee gets the Post lawyers to join them and after a day of working things out they sort out a story to publish and send it ready to be published but the layers have misgivings and call Graham to discuss the situation and advise not to publish but Graham decides to Publish and the Times along with the Boston Glove and Washington Post go to the Supreme Court to appeal the gagging order where it overturns the original decision and rules the Newspapers can publish the stories. We then see Nixon talking to someone in the White House banning the Post from every going near the White House and then we see a break-in in progress at the Watergate Hotel.
Whilst this a good film in general I felt it could’ve been a lot better especially if I compare it to Spotlight, I don’t think neither Tom or Meryl produced their best performances in this either. I rate this only an 8 out of 10 and not as good as last year Oscar nominations