The Post reviews

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Precious Doll
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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:59 am

Uri wrote:
dws1982 wrote:I want her to be in at least five movies every year. But I think she's pretty happy with just doing a small role here and there, mostly on TV, and spending the rest of her time on her farm in Virginia, so good for her.


Ah, the perils of old age. Did I mix you two up? Who was the one who awarded Spacek 6 or 7 times on his personal list for best actress?


Me. And that's why I don't care if she never does anything again because I am happy to watch Badlands, Carrie, 3 Women, Coal Miner's Daughter, Missing, etc, etc over and over again along with 1000's of other great films.[/quote]

Oof, thanks god, or whatever. I was so sure I got it right and you made me question my memory - at our age it's a touchy issue, you know.[/quote]

Yes it can be. As I said to a work colleague in 2016 shortly before I took one years paid leave of long service leave and formally retired from the workforce on 1 December 2017: 'I hate getting old but the alternative is worse'.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Uri » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:49 am

Precious Doll wrote:
Uri wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:Streep would have been fine with a better script and more subtle director. As for Spacek, don't care if she never makes another film again.


dws1982 wrote:I want her to be in at least five movies every year. But I think she's pretty happy with just doing a small role here and there, mostly on TV, and spending the rest of her time on her farm in Virginia, so good for her.


Ah, the perils of old age. Did I mix you two up? Who was the one who awarded Spacek 6 or 7 times on his personal list for best actress?


Me. And that's why I don't care if she never does anything again because I am happy to watch Badlands, Carrie, 3 Women, Coal Miner's Daughter, Missing, etc, etc over and over again along with 1000's of other great films.


Oof, thanks god, or whatever. I was so sure I got it right and you made me question my memory - at our age it's a touchy issue, you know.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:42 am

Uri wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:Streep would have been fine with a better script and more subtle director. As for Spacek, don't care if she never makes another film again.


dws1982 wrote:I want her to be in at least five movies every year. But I think she's pretty happy with just doing a small role here and there, mostly on TV, and spending the rest of her time on her farm in Virginia, so good for her.


Ah, the perils of old age. Did I mix you two up? Who was the one who awarded Spacek 6 or 7 times on his personal list for best actress?


Me. And that's why I don't care if she never does anything again because I am happy to watch Badlands, Carrie, 3 Women, Coal Miner's Daughter, Missing, etc, etc over and over again along with 1000's of other great films.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Uri » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:31 am

Precious Doll wrote:Streep would have been fine with a better script and more subtle director. As for Spacek, don't care if she never makes another film again.


dws1982 wrote:I want her to be in at least five movies every year. But I think she's pretty happy with just doing a small role here and there, mostly on TV, and spending the rest of her time on her farm in Virginia, so good for her.


Ah, the perils of old age. Did I mix you two up? Who was the one who awarded Spacek 6 or 7 times on his personal list for best actress?

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:29 pm

I thought I was going to end up on the lower end of opinions on this, but some of you are far more vociferous than I.

I think the movie's "fine"; one of the better TV movies of the year, with an almost grossly overqualified cast. It covers a rather tiny subject -- or, better, a tiny segment of a bigger subject. The Times's original action of revealing the Pentagon Papers was the real story-motor; Ben Bradlee's lust for grabbing a part of the action doesn't exactly strike Shakespearean sparks. But the movie hums along agreeably and I didn't find the hokum too intolerable. Hidden Figures, a movie many of you were pretty soft on last winter, struck me as twice as cloying and manipulative.

This isn't to give The Post a completely clean bill of health. The "you go girl" stuff was laid on pretty thick, and often incongruously. Sarah Paulson's big speech seemed beamed in from, at the earliest, the late 90s, and seemed to be trying to forcibly turn this freedom of speech parable into a female empowerment message. (It was also undercut if you know that, shortly thereafter, Bradlee traded in Toni for a younger-model Sally Quinn.) And that scene Precious Doll highlighted, Streep descending from the Supreme Court past the angelic throng of future feminists (with virtual choir accompanying), was indeed ludicrous. Especially if you factor in that virtually no one at the time would have had the faintest clue what Kay Graham looked like. I certainly didn't. (Sorry, though: the contest for Most Ridiculous Scene in Spielberg's oeuvre is still won by Margaret Avery's serenade outside her father's church in The Color Purple.)

Having lived through/followed this story, I was really familiar with the material on display. (How familiar? I saw Carrie Coon's haircut, heard someone say she was in Editorial, and I thought, oh, she's playing Meg Greenfield.) This makes me something of a nit-picker (how could they flash a title card saying 1966 while playing a song that wasn't recorded till 1969?!!), but also made me part of the audience that just enjoyed seeing the whole thing played out, like a favored old song. I also thrilled a bit to the antiquated but classic setting the type/running the presses bit. My over-familiarity did, though, make me impatient with the film's punchline. When I saw Frank Wills appear and find the infamous taped-up door, I laughed out loud. But Spielberg, apparently wanting to make certain even mouth-breathers in the audience got the joke, pushed it multiple steps further -- the sign on the door saying DNC; the shot of the flashlight-carrying burglars lifted from All the President's Men; and Wills' phone call spelling out that it's the Watergate. By that time, the joke had started to curdle for me. I acknowledge that may be only because of my particular circumstance.

I'm serious that the film's cast was over-qualified. Seeing people like Jessie Mueller, Bradley Whitford, Alison Brie and Jesse Plemmons in what were practically bit parts made me ache for the many unemployed actors I know who could have used the credit. Perhaps Spielberg was so determined to shoot so quickly, he wanted to be sure he had all top-line actors.

As for the leads -- I liked Hanks best when he was most Hanks-ian (as with his "No! -- that's why I'm asking you guys!"). He wasn't as memorable in the role as Jason Robards -- and his Boston accent only seemed to show up once every 30 minutes. Streep has by far the fullest role, and she's very accomplished in it: we know she's an utterly poised individual, but her unsteadiness comes off fully genuine. It's not a great performance, but if she gets nominated for it, I won't groan. (Nor will I ache if she misses.)

Three star movie. Wouldn't be the worst film nominated, even in the last few years. But the initial "This is the movie to beat" reactions, in a year so teeming with vital work, were Oscar blogging at its worst.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Greg » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:05 pm

Uri wrote:So, Precious – bitter Streep got the part instead of a certain petit Texan who was born to play Graham?


I read this, Googled "petit Texas actress," and thought you were writing about Morgan Fairchild.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby dws1982 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:51 pm

Precious Doll wrote:As for Spacek, don't care if she never makes another film again.

I want her to be in at least five movies every year. But I think she's pretty happy with just doing a small role here and there, mostly on TV, and spending the rest of her time on her farm in Virginia, so good for her.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:39 pm

Streep would have been fine with a better script and more subtle director. As for Spacek, don't care if she never makes another film again.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Uri » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:40 pm

As is the usual case with Spielberg serious historical mode, this one is text-book-y and America-is-great-y, with a touch of schmaltz and flag waving. It is also rather stagy and being quite predictable dramatically, not very engrossing. Other than that, it’s fine.

So, Precious – bitter Streep got the part instead of a certain petit Texan who was born to play Graham? Anyway, to answer my own question, this performance fits nicely with Streep’s current mode – I smiled since the first we see her onscreen, she is rehearsing for a performance she’s about to give the next day, coached by a male advisor. Again, it’s a woman in a position of power struggling to form her public persona. It is part of this ongoing route she took but it is varied enough to be of interest on its own. Not an earth shattering turn, but good enough.

Hanks is Hanks. The rest of the respectable cast is professional, as expected. And again, when an artistic license is being taken – meaning the fictional character played by Bradley Whitford – the result is simplistic and uninspired, so why bother?

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:18 pm

Oprah has more immediate things to worry about. Although her property was damaged in the Montecito mudslides, it was stable enough for the rescue helicopters to stage there to rescue her neighbors in danger.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Reza » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:05 pm

Precious Doll wrote:And in what must be the worst scene of 2017 - Streep strolling down the steps of the court as all the young women turn their heads in awe of her with barely a man in sight. It was like played out like the second coming of Christ. What the hell was Spielberg thinking. It's the most ridiculous scene he has ever directed..


Not unlike the Golden Globes during Oprah's self important speech with the camera going from female face to face in the audience. Forget her running for a silly post like the President of the United States, surely dear Oprah must now be in consideration for damehood or more likely sainthood.

There's no business like show business after all!!

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Sabin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:56 am

Precious Doll wrote
And in what must be the worst scene of 2017 - Streep strolling down the steps of the court as all the young women turn their heads in awe of her with barely a man in sight. It was like played out like the second coming of Christ. What the hell was Spielberg thinking. It's the most ridiculous scene he has ever directed.

Everybody is ranting and raving about 'Darkest Hour' but at least that's just old-fashioned cornball bullshit. 'The Post' reveals something else about how this class thinks about itself. It's gross.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:32 am

What a bore.

Streep is all mannerisms and ticks. I never felt any sense of the woman she's playing and what little is learnt is through clunky dialogue about the 'past'. Tom Hanks doesn't fair much better with his Jack & Jackie memories. Jansuz Kaminski's cinematography is beyond dreadful - all the bad wigs and make-up highlighted by the dark and dull lighting. Some of the actors were so heavily baked in white powder they looked liked they belonged in something set in France in the 17th century.

And in what must be the worst scene of 2017 - Streep strolling down the steps of the court as all the young women turn their heads in awe of her with barely a man in sight. It was like played out like the second coming of Christ. What the hell was Spielberg thinking. It's the most ridiculous scene he has ever directed.

Anyway, all is not lost. Nixon's rantings, as always, were a hoot.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby Uri » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:08 am

The Original BJ wrote:I watched The Post again, and while my general opinion remains the same, I am going to admit that I underrated Meryl Streep's work here. I understand now why so many have been genuinely enthused by what she's doing, because it's such a change of pace from so many of her recent roles. Over the past decade, she's played a lot of BIG characters, often in broad comedy roles (Florence Foster Jenkins, Into the Woods), but also in her more dramatic roles, where her characters were genuinely larger than life (August: Osage County, The Iron Lady). But here she plays a very normal woman, and this return to a more grounded characterization gives her a chance to imbue her key scenes (expressing her disappointment with McNamara, opening up emotionally with her daughter in the bedroom scene, giving the go-ahead to publish the papers in her flustered phone call) with quite a bit of detail and human nuance. It's the kind of work that one can easily undervalue simply because it's not too flashy, and I'm afraid I undervalued it my first time through with this film.


Looking back at Streep’s career, it can be divided into three phases, success wise. The first, 1977-1990, the shooting star phase, in which she accumulated 9 Oscar nominations per 14 years. 1991-2005 – the wandering around, “loosing focus” phase, 4 nods/15 years. 2006-2016 – the superstardom, greatest actor since the early Paleozoic era phase – 7 nods/11 years. Interestingly, both the first and the last can be defined by a kind of an über theme which suggests a varied yet unified artistic opus. No, not the accents - in the early stage it was about a complex, challenging take on womanhood, a subversive, post-feminist portrait of wifehood and motherhood. In the last, or rather current one, all these broad, larger than life, BIG characters as you call them, can be collectively looked at as a reflective look by a veteran, successful artist at the essence of her art – a cumulative dissertation on the nature of performing.

Some of the characters she portrayed in the last decade or so were actual performers – Julia Child, Ricki and Frances Foster Jenkins, but even more interesting are those other films in which she played women who are knowingly creating/fabricating a fully realized public persona in order to maintain their authoritative social place – The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, The Iron Lady, August: Osage County, Into the Woods, even her cameo in Suffragette (and probably The Giver too, I haven’t seen it) – all the women she plays in these films are consummate performers. Miranda Priestley’s (a masterfully slick turn in an ok film) schtick is an obvious Act. Her Margaret Thatcher’s (a very good performance in a very bad film) success as a politician is tied closely with her mastering her posture, the way she is projecting her voice, her wardrobe, her makeup and hairstyle – her acting. Sister Aloysius (a very good performance in a mediocre film) is very self-consciously putting on a show to intimidate her underlings, as is Violet Weston (an interesting failed turn in a disastrous film). The Witch (efficient yet blah turn in a blah film) being monstrous is a spell induced mask – and like in every other film mentioned here, this mask must be taken off at one stage for the character’s true, often fragile, self to be revealed.

I haven’t seen The Post yet, but it will be interesting to see were, or rather if it fits into this pattern – from what I’ve heard and read here, it might be an interestingly fresh turn in Streep’s journey as an actress.

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Re: The Post reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:28 pm

I watched The Post again, and while my general opinion remains the same, I am going to admit that I underrated Meryl Streep's work here. I understand now why so many have been genuinely enthused by what she's doing, because it's such a change of pace from so many of her recent roles. Over the past decade, she's played a lot of BIG characters, often in broad comedy roles (Florence Foster Jenkins, Into the Woods), but also in her more dramatic roles, where her characters were genuinely larger than life (August: Osage County, The Iron Lady). But here she plays a very normal woman, and this return to a more grounded characterization gives her a chance to imbue her key scenes (expressing her disappointment with McNamara, opening up emotionally with her daughter in the bedroom scene, giving the go-ahead to publish the papers in her flustered phone call) with quite a bit of detail and human nuance. It's the kind of work that one can easily undervalue simply because it's not too flashy, and I'm afraid I undervalued it my first time through with this film.

Given the competition, I still definitely don't think this merits a fourth Oscar, but I am now completely fine with her (likely) nomination, and don't think it would be reward by rote at all. Sometimes you just have to admit you missed something on a first viewing.


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