Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep Voice Support for Oprah Presidency

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep Voice Support for Oprah Presidency

The report, leaked to the Times by a former Pentagon analyst, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys), details how top officials in the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations knew the war was impossible to win, but lied to the public to keep it going at an added cost of thousands of USA service members' lives. The point: The Fourth Estate must be a check on political power.

At the time of the Pentagon Papers controversy, the Post had just become a publicly traded company, and Graham anxious that the defiant move, putting the newspaper at odds with the federal government, would give investors the jitters. "Tom steps outside of anything we've seen before".

Having seen government adviser Daniel Ellsburg (Matthew Rhys) leak the Pentagon Papers - a study of the United States' involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) - to the New York Times and seeing their efforts to publish them in their entirety stymied by a cease-and-desist order from the Justice Department, the movie arrives at its thematic center. And these leaders lied to the American public and Congress about the war and its scope. The report commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) revealed that five administrations had lied about USA prospects for victory in Vietnam.

The decision to publish is ultimately hers, and it couldn't come at a worse time.

Like his previous two dramas, "The Post" is Spielberg delightfully jumping back in the past, centering the movie on the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed a cover-up of US government meddling in foreign affairs, including Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

For journalism historians, this can be viewed as an odd way to talk about the Pentagon Papers.

The Supreme Court, of course, ruled in favor of the Post and Times. He didn't really think that deeply about his connections to powerful posts or how his personal beliefs impact the editing and focus of the newspaper. And more importantly from a storytelling perspective, it's about the evolution of a woman, Graham, into a journalism icon. She seeks advice and suffers such advice when it's obvious that she's facing condescension.

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Tom Hanks portrays Ben Bradlee in a scene from "The Post".

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It's the summer of 1971, and the Nixon administration is angry at the Post over coverage of the White House wedding of Richard Nixon's daughter Tricia.

Graham has the final say in whether the paper publishes the Pentagon Papers - sensitive and damning government information on the Vietnam War.

Jump to the present, a time when our President assails unflattering media coverage as "fake news", and the parallels between a historical war on the press and an ongoing one are glaring.

In an interview with the Guardian, Spielberg made clear his intention to declare support if Winfrey decides to run.

The movie was filmed while Spielberg was waiting for the special effects to be completed on another one of his new movies, "Ready Player One", based on the novel by Austin's Ernie Cline. That's what Tom Hanks' Ben Bradlee says midway through "The Post" when he's hot on the trail of a scoop and the pieces start coming together.

Hanks ably captures Bradlee's hard-charging swagger, falling somewhere between the actual guy and Jason Robards in "All the President's Men".

Thus does "The Post" move from a crackling newsroom yarn to a showcase for Streep's now-expected brilliance.

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