This thrilling drama, directed by Steven Spielberg, features The Washington Post and its role in exposing the Pentagon Papers, a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. presidents.
Meryl Streep embraces her role as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper. Surrounded by a sea of imposing men, the widowed socialite appears uncertain and uncomfortable as she struggles to assert herself. In the midst of negotiations to take the family newspaper public, she is reluctant to create waves or upset any of her political friends, among them Defense Secretary, Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood ).
Tom Hanks plays Ben Bradlee, the ambitious executive editor determined to raise The Post’s national profile. In the summer of 1971, he gets the opportunity to test his journalistic chops and go head-to-head with the New York Times. After the Nixon administration bans the Times from continuing with the leaking of the Pentagon Papers, Bradlee decides to challenge the White House’s unconstitutional efforts. But first, he must persuade Graham.
Torn between Bradlee, her circle of advisors, and political friends, Graham grapples with this decision but eventually takes a stand. I could feel goosebumps rising as her posture straightened and her voice assumed a stronger timbre. One of my favorite scenes: After the Supreme Court decision, Katherine Graham proudly walks past an admiring group of younger women.
A classic underdog tale enhanced by the Oscar-worthy performances of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.