It’s Oscar season, which can mean only one thing…it’s time to feel bad about the number of films you haven’t seen. Time to look over the list of the best films made last year and realised how many you haven’t seen. If you’re British you’ve got a pretty good excuse, what with some of them not being released over here until February, which makes it hard to judge whether they’re worthy. Americans can sit there and be like “I know what that’s like as I saw that months ago, and it was deeply flawed”, whereas if you’re over here you’re dependent on either basing it entirely on other reviews or watching them illegally. Or just do neither and not mention them.
The Post was nominated for both Best Picture, and Best Actress (for Meryl Streep, obviously, who is seemingly allergic to not giving award-winning performances). It’s a weird dichotomy for me to say this but I both agree and don’t agree with them. It’s a weird realisation when you notice there’s a difference between award-winning films and films you love. Horrors and comedies for example never do well come award season, yet people love them. The Post was a very well made film, but I will find it very odd if someone says it’s their favourite film of the year. Essentially I appreciated it more than I liked it.
Maybe part of that reason is that it’s harder for British people to be invested in a journalism story than it is for Americans. American newspapers have a much more dignified history than British ones. The history of American newspapers are things like Watergate, Bloomingdale Asylum, The Color Of Money, and investigating the Catholic church sexual abuse scandal. They’re good things to have movies about, things that make you proud of the industry. What’s the British equivalent? Hillsborough, hacking voicemails of murdered schoolgirls, saying it’s impossible for straight people to get AIDs, saying MMR causes autism, and supporting the Nazi’s during World War 2, saying the Jews were all lying for attention. Don’t exactly have the same level of nobility to them. So it’s hard for us to feel that same sense of pride in journalism.
That’s enough about the circumstances, the film itself? It knows it wants to do and it does that well. It builds up to the “Meryl Streep moment” well. You know, that moment which happens in a lot of films lately, where she seems kind of meek and timid but then is like “no, I’m right and you’re going to do what I say because I’m Meryl Streep”. There’s a moment where everyone is locked in a room and panicking to get through a massive document before the print deadline, meanwhile they’re still debating whether they’re going to print it at all as it runs the risk of them being taken to court. It’s incredibly tense and nerve-wracking, and just all-around brilliant. If the entire film was like that I’d have loved it, but sadly the rest of the film couldn’t really match up to that one scene. It is an oddly relevant film for these times. A film about the president attempting to censor the media, a few years ago that would have seemed only slightly relevant, now it seems so relevant it’s almost scary how history is repeating itself (although this led to Nixon being impeached and shamed, so fingers crossed).
I knew nothing about the situation going into this film, I didn’t even know what the film was about due to cinemas not showing any trailers for this for some reason. The film should be commended for making a rather complicated situation simplistic enough for the audience to understand. You don’t sit there thinking “but what’s going on?” and feeling the need to check the internet mid-film to see what’s going on. Which is good, as if you check the internet whilst in the cinema you’re an asshole.
And that’s how I’m ending this review.
Oh wait, no, I’ll end it with this. Boss Baby is an Academy Award nominated film. 2018 Is weird.