starring Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk
written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer
directed by Steven Spielberg
by Walter Chaw Two scenes. The first a posh dinner where Spielberg subtly changes the field of focus to show that the ostensible star of this show, WASHINGTON POST publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), is listening in on a conversation recklessly shared in her presence. (It's at once a subtle presentation of gender dynamics and a master-class in visual storytelling.) The second a shot of Graham descending the steps in slow-motion to rapturous, feminine approval following a Supreme Court victory. Both are vintage Spielberg, the best technical filmmaker the medium has ever produced and a big giant, sentimental, cotton-headed ninny-muggins who can't leave the audience to its own devices and doesn't have the muscle to end things on a down note. When he manages one, his films are nigh well perfection. When he doesn't--and he hasn't, really, since Munich or maybe Catch Me If You Can--his films are 90% the best thing you've ever seen and 10% the worst. That's good enough for most. For me, it's the fantastic six-course feast that ends when you find a cockroach in the flan.