I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been busy adding ‘life to my years,’ so decided to only post to my blog when I had something that I felt was extra special for sharing. Well, today, for Cinema Saturday, I’d like to share my reviews of two exceptional motion pictures that I saw this afternoon: “THE GREATEST SHOWMAN” and “THE POST.”
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams in a “musical” depiction of the greatest showman, PT Barnum. I, frankly, did not realize that this would be a musical, however, with Jackman in the lead role, I was pleased that it was. It was not a musical in the true and traditional sense of the genre, but singing did progress parts of the story and add to the emotional depth of the characters. I was entertained and invested in the characters throughout the film, and was touched and moved by the passionate performances of not only the leads, but the supporting members of the cast who played the various “freaks.”
The ending of the movie was especially poignant as I thought of my dear friend who recently had to say ‘goodbye’ to her long career with the circus that was conceived by Mr. Barnum so many years ago. It is a definite ‘must see’ movie, not to be put on your ‘wait for HBO’ list. The big screen adds a lot to the beauty of the cinematography and the larger than life personality of P.T. Barnum.
The second movie of my double feature today was THE POST. I predict now, that THE POST will win Best Picture of 2018. With brilliant performances by the great Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and riveting performances by the supporting cast, including Bob Odenkirk, THE POST puts the viewer behind the scenes of the courageous decision of the country’s first female newspaper publisher, Kay Graham, to “serve the governed, not the governors.”
By publishing the Pentagon Papers, the Washington Post and the New York Times challenged the Nixon administration, and exposed the administrations of four US Presidents in their cover ups related to the Vietnam War. It cemented the Freedom of the Press, and, as stated in the Supreme Court opinion by Justice Hugo Black, proclaimed the necessity of a free press to ensure democracy. Justice Black opined “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.”
Although, most will know the story depicted in THE POST, Spielberg’s brilliant storytelling keeps the viewer riveted, and engaged throughout. This is a ‘must see’ movie, especially at this time in our history.