6.5/10 When this film was first fast tracked and announced you could have called it by its alternate title, “Oscar Bait”. However, since one of my all-time favorite directors directed it, Steven Spielberg, I was so excited that this film was on my Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2017 list. Imagine my disappointment when this film turns out to be a 6.5 out of 10. Before I explain why it only rates a 6.5 and was completely undeserving of its Best Picture nomination, I will start off with the good news. First off, the cast is top notch, everyone brings their A game for Spielberg and there isn’t a single weak link in the acting chain. Hanks and Streep as our leads continue to show why they are acting legends (even if Hanks looks nothing like the man he is playing) and in particular it is amazing seeing Streep act in a Spielberg film for the first time (not including voiceover work she did in “A.I: Artificial Intelligence”). The production design and costume design recreates the time period effortlessly and captures the look and feel of its respective era. The pacing also moves along at a rate where you are never bored and constantly wondering what happens next. Before I dive into the negatives there are a few mediocre aspects to cover. The legendary John Williams gives a forgettable score that I barely noticed throughout the film. This is a subtler film and not bombastic like “Star Wars” so it makes sense to not notice it as much but when I did it was nothing special. Same goes for the cinematography and editing. They get the job done but are nothing special and don’t stand out in any way. The biggest negative is that this film believes it is super important and relevant to today and the current state of political affairs as it tries to pat itself on the back for how topical and timely it is. Problem is, although it is an interesting story about an interesting point in American political history, it is completely miles apart from anything happening today and it wreaks of self-importance and grandstanding. The film opens with a Vietnam flashback, the film’s only action scene. Coming from the director who directed the incredible opening Normandy scene from “Saving Private Ryan” we see a really boring, muted, underwhelming Vietnam scene that could have totally been cut out. Since it was the only action scene in the film, Spielberg could have really made it epic and really conveyed how brutal and depressing Vietnam was. Instead, he makes that opening scene just like the overall picture, underwhelming and more buzz than actual substance.
#GrahamFineReporting / #NeedsEditing / #ThePostmanAlwaysReadsTwice / #NotYourType / #MayTheSourceBeWithYou / #SayYesToThePress