“The Post” may look like a period piece, as it dramatizes how the 1971 publication of the leaked Pentagon Papers exposed government efforts to mislead the public about the Vietnam War. But the first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s film indicates that this is a story as relevant as today’s headlines.
“If we don’t hold them accountable, who will?” the Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) asks his publisher, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), to which she replies, “We can’t hold them accountable if we don’t have a paper.”
(As the trailer indicates, The New York Times ran the first reports on the papers and published some of the documents, but was barred from following up by a court order. The Washington Post then stepped in.)
On a somewhat less serious note, if ever there were an Academy Awards all-star team, it would be the cast and crew of “The Post.” Ms. Streep holds the Oscars record for the most acting nominations (20, with three wins), while Mr. Hanks has been nominated five times and won twice. Mr. Spielberg has earned 16 nominations as a director and a producer (winning three times), and the composer John Williams is the most-nominated person alive, with 50. All could add to their totals with “The Post.”
Many members of the film’s teeming ensemble can be glimpsed in the teaser, including Bruce Greenwood as Robert McNamara, who as secretary of defense in 1967 created the task force that compiled the Pentagon Papers, and Bob Odenkirk as Ben Bagdikian, a journalist who urged the newspaper to publish the documents. “The Post” arrives in theaters on Dec. 22.