DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
The gentle pacing of this look at the release of not only the Pentagon Papers, but the reaffirment of press freedom in the United States under Nixon’s dubious leadership, is typical of what we have come to expect from Steven Spielberg in recent years.
That is certainty not say that it is not welcome. His solid, yet light touch of what maybe one of this generation’s All The President’s Men, though I would say that Spotlight, released the same year, would hold that distinction, is pitched perfectly for the subject at hand.
Held up by a myriad of acting royalty, as well as a host of solid working actors, a trademark of Speilberg, combined with a camera that sneakily moves around when it thinks that you are not looking, builds and maintains tention in what could easily be a tedious story.
One which over the course of a little under two hours, does nothing more than to demonstrate the hard work involved in printing these Top Secret documents, as well as lifting the lid on just how flawed the U.S. government policies were, regarding Vietnam.
But, as is the case with so many of Steven Speilberg’s moral, legal dramas, it all works out in the end, with a heavy dose of what it ‘Should be’, to be a good American.
Unfortunately, considering the people portrayed here, a socialite newspaper owner (Meryl Streep) and the ambitious Washington Post Editor (Tom Hanks), their portrayals in this film might well be considered to be a little trite.
Or at the very least, somewhat optimistic. Maybe it is just the cynic in me, but Speilberg has a knack for creating heroes out of the liberals who may have done the right thing, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
But hey, it’s why we live him so much…