Currents Winter 2018; Vol. 34, No. 1 - Page 30

In Hamburg American Women’s Club of Hamburg mum emotional effect there is: Metaphorical, dark yet wonderful double plot lines; corresponding tu- multuous world events; moralistic complexities, and saints-to-rogues gallery of characters with brutal nemeses. Working with legendary “Godfather of Makeup” Dick Smith instilled in Guillermo a keen sense for realistic physical interpretations for other- worldly characters. Fantastical production and art design (Paul D. Aus- terberry, Nigel Churcher), sets (Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau) and costumes (Luis Sequeira), et al. bring Del Toro’s fairy-tale world stunningly alive. The Shape of Water cast excels; a “stairway to the stars” dance scene puts La La Land’s to shame. Al- exandre Desplat’s evocative music is superb, Dan Laustsen’s cinematography first-rate, and Sidney Wolinsky’s editing crisply incorporates nostalgic (archival) pop culture. Guillermo del Toro is a devil for original, superb filmmaking with universal en- tertainment appeal that justifies a second viewing to fully appreciate. So, be a devil and see it again. 119 minutes (Marinell Haegelin) The Post (Die Verlegerin) ***** USA 2017 Opening February 22, 2018 Pentagon Papers, revealing the deception practiced by four presidents in US Vietnam involvement. The Times receives a court order to stop publication, and Post newsroom director Ben Bradlee (Hanks) sniffs out the original documents from the Times’ source Daniel Ellsberg (Rhys). Until now the Post has been more of a regional news- paper with emphasis on an inside view of Wash- ington society. Robert McNamara (Greenwood) is a close family friend of the Grahams, and Bradlee and his wife had been vacation friends with John and Jackie Kennedy. Kay is now faced with the de- cision whether or not to publish parts of the Penta- gon Papers in the Post, antagonize her government friends, and risk prison for contempt of court and financial ruin from the collapse of the stock issue. In short, her entire life is at stake. It is the achievement of Spielberg’s direction and Hanks’ and Streep’s genius that the drama of this historic moment is palpable and totally gripping. Kay’s particularly vulnerable position is absolutely convincing and I could identify with her moments of self-doubt in the male-dominated world of the seventies. The development of respect and partner- ship between the publisher and the editor, Graham and Bradlee, is remarkable and is a main theme of the film. I can highly recommend this film for superb acting and a focused view of that moment in time when a great publisher and a truly national newspaper emerged. (Ann Gebauer-Thompson) Directed by: Steven Spielberg Writing credits: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer Principal actors: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Greenwood, Mat- thew Rhys Katherine (Kay) Graham (Streep), publisher of The Washington Post, is impossibly irritating at the start of the film. It is 1971, and she has taken over the con- trol of her family’s newspaper after her husband’s suicide, but she has no idea how to assert her con- trol. She has been a stay-at-home mother and occa- sional hostess well into her forties and never held a paid job. So here we have Kay, wounded and in- secure, walking into a board meeting of assertive males in black suits who look right through her. She hems and haws and loses her voice. This is a decisive moment in newspaper history. The Post has decided to go public, and it is essential for the future of the paper that an adequate market price be reached. In the middle of this the New York Times publishes a huge scoop: the first highly secret 30 www.awchamburg.org Coming to your Box Office Soon: Special edition of Currents with the latest reviews from the Berlinale 2018 !