When Steven Spielberg releases a movie late in the year, you can bet it's going to be great. Starting with Schindler's List more than two decades ago, his fall titles have been positively received by critics and are all certified fresh on Rottten Tomatoes, with an average score of 84%. Most of them were also Oscar nominees for Best Picture.
This year, Spielberg has a late-release effort called The Post, which offers a dramatic true story plus the powerhouse duo of leads Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The first trailer for the movie hints that it'll be par for the course. Not only can we expect a great movie that receives favorable reviews but this one looks like another major awards contender for the filmmaker and his cast.
Watch the trailer below.
What's the movie about?
Set in the early 1970s, The Post is about the publication of the Pentagon Papers, a series of leaked documents exposing secrets about the Vietnam War and the scope of U.S. military action in Vietnam, as well as Laos and Cambodia. Streep stars as Kay Graham, the first woman publisher of the Washington Post, and Hanks portrays the paper's then-executive editor Ben Bradlee during the time when the Washington Post reported on the documents.
Who else is in the movie?
Silicon Valley's Zach Woods plays Daniel Ellsberg, the former U.S. military analyst responsible for the leak, Bob Odenkirk plays Washington Post journalist Ben Bagdikian, who first received the documents from Ellsberg and Bruce Greenwood is Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who'd begun the study leading to the documents. Sarah Paulson is Bradlee's then-wife Toni, Bradley Whitford is Washington Post chairman Fritz Beebe, Jesse Plemons is Washington Post lawyer Roger Clark and Carrie Coon, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Pat Healy and Michael Stuhlbarg all play members of the Washington Post staff of editors and writers.
Could this be Spielberg's next Best Picture winner?
There's at least a great precedent for The Post to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. Besides Spielberg's success with the Academy, there's also the Ben Bradlee connection. Decades before Hanks took on the role, Jason Robards portrayed the editor in the Watergate-focused movie All the President's Men, which was up for Best Picture in 1977. More recently, Spotlight featured John Slattery as Ben Bradlee, Jr. and the movie was named the Best Picture of 2015. Then again, the elder Bradlee was also briefly portrayed in last year's Jackie, which deserved a Best Picture nomination but wasn't recognized in the category.
What about the cast?
Hanks has only received an Oscar nomination for one of his Spielberg-directed performances, as Captain Miller in Saving Private Ryan. This could be his second, which would follow in the footsteps of Robards, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the role of Ben Bradlee 40 years ago. Streep, who has only cameoed in a Spielberg movie (A.I. Artificial Intelligence) before this, will probably be recognized by the Academy; as she is for most anything and everything these days. As for the rest, it's hard to tell just from the trailer who among the ensemble will be a contender.
When does the movie come out?
We'll be able to see for ourselves if The Post is another great Spielberg movie with great performances from Streep, Hanks and the rest when it opens in limited release on December 22. Most of the country, though, won't get the movie locally until January 12, 2018.