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Can Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks Send ‘The Post’ to the Oscars?

The trailer for Spielberg’s latest film, a dramatization of the Washington Post editors’ struggle to publish the Pentagon Papers, may not be able to coast on star power alone

Hot off the presses, the first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s The Post has arrived for a movie sure to shake up the Oscars race. The only problem: It kinda looks like a mess?

Don’t get me wrong, the ingredients are all there. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are headlining a star-studded cast, which also includes Carrie Coon, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, and Matthew Rhys, among others (Spielberg has clearly been binge-watching prestige TV in his spare time following 2016’s The BFG). The story follows The Washington Post’s struggle to publish the Pentagon Papers—documents detailing America's involvement in the Vietnam War, some of which had never been disclosed to the public—and the government’s attempt to suppress the publication’s reporting. The film’s subject matter feels especially prescient when our sitting president has his own qualms about the freedom of the press. And of course: It’s Spielberg.

But all I could think about while watching this trailer was how distracting Hanks’s accent as Post editor Ben Bradlee was. Half the time, it sounds like a cross between Brad Pitt’s bizarro accents in Inglourious Basterds and War Machine. And why did Spielberg feel the need to include multiple shots of newspapers getting tossed out of trucks?

GIF of a truck delivering newspapers 21st Century Fox

We get it, journalism is happening!

GIF of a truck delivering newspapers outside the Capitol building 21st Century Fox

Granted, the trailer is just a brief glimpse of The Post; we’ll get the full scoop when the film hits theaters December 22. And this wouldn’t the first Spielberg movie with an underwhelming trailer followed up by a stellar finished product (see: Bridge of Spies). I certainly hope The Post is better than advertised, because no one should ever feel the need to say: “This thing with Carrie Coon in it doesn’t look very good” or “Why did you waste Meryl Streep’s precious time?”