Hold the front page. On 19th January 2018, for the first time in their glittering careers, the cinema legends Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep join forces for The Post.
The Post tells the true story of the Washington newshounds who risked it all to expose the US government’s Vietnam War cover-ups. In terms of sheer stardust, it’s like The Expendables (with smarter dialogue) or Avengers Assemble (with less spandex). Based on this holy trinity’s past form, we might as well save everybody some time and just deliver every award, gong and little gold man to their doorsteps right now, in a giant overflowing skip. Let’s remind ourselves why The Post’s galacticos are headline news.
The director who shoots to thrill...
Respect to Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kubrick and the rest, but no director slam-dunks it quite like Spielberg.
He can do spill-your-popcorn jaw-droppers, from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) to Jurassic Park (1993). He can handle coming-of-age adventure like Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981) and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). He killed the seaside tourism industry with 1975’s Jaws, and held a mirror up to humanity with 1993’s Schindler’s List. At 70, Spielberg doesn’t get out of bed for just any old b-movie, and it’s testament to The Post’s zeitgeist-surfing brilliance that he delayed post-production on Ready Player One to helm it.
“I just felt a calling,” he says of the plot, which centres on the so-called Pentagon Papers, whose 1971 leak exposed the deceit of President Johnson’s administration. “This is a story that is familiar to all of us in this day and age.”
The Oscar magnet with a thousand faces...
Meryl Streep’s filmography lands with a thump. She caught our eye with a nuanced Oscar-nominated turn in 1978’s The Deer Hunter, made a custody battle compelling in Kramer vs. Kramer, and scored her first Best Actress award as the titular Polish immigrant in Sophie’s Choice. Endlessly versatile, Streep soaked a thousand tissues in The Bridges Of Madison County, showed her claws as the ice-queen fashion editor in The Devil Wears Prada, revealed an unlikely flair for Scandinavian pop in Mamma Mia! and brought a beating heart to Thatcher’s Iron Lady (banking her third Oscar).
But perhaps no character has stretched this powerhouse like the US’s first female newspaper publisher, Katharine Graham. “It was 1971,” she told CBS of her role in The Post. “It was a world of men, but she was owner-publisher of The Washington Post. She stepped into a moment of history – and that’s part of our story.”
Modern cinema's most congenial actor...
Hanks charmed the planet with his breakout role as the gangling man-child in 1988’s Big. What we didn’t foresee was that, over the next three decades, this puppy-eyed beanpole would grow into a double-Oscar-winning titan, in films that have grossed a global billion. There aren’t many actors who can pinball between a cartoon cowboy in Toy Story, a dying lawyer in Philadelphia, a stranded migrant in The Terminal and a grizzled US Army captain in Saving Private Ryan.
And that’s why Hanks is the only A-lister you’d trust in the role of Ben Bradlee, the hardbitten hack chronicling a seismic week in US history. “The truth was so volatile, so toxic at that time, that no one wanted to talk about it,” he says of his first-ever screen partnership with Streep in The Post. “Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham altered the state of the First Amendment and the history of the world… by printing the truth.”
Watch the video of The Post premiere at ODEON Leicester Square on 10th January
Stop the presses! The Post is delivered to ODEON cinemas on 19th January.