Veteran actor Tom Hanks said there are similarities between President Donald Trump’s treatment of the press and that of Richard Nixon and said he wouldn’t attend a White House screening of his new freedom of the press drama The Post if invited.
Hanks stars as famed Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film The Post, about the 1971 fight against the U.S. government to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers. Asked during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter what bothers him about how the press is treated today, Hanks hurled thinly veiled swipes at Trump.
“Facts are irrefutable. Well, it turns out people are saying: ‘No, facts are not irrefutable. We can decide whatever facts that we want, that we would like,'” Hanks said. “Right now, without a doubt, there are people in power trying to — if not quash or stop the right to publication, [then at least] denigrate it to the point [where] they are saying there is no truth to it whatsoever. And there are stories out there that are the truth, [in] organs of the Fourth Estate like the New York Times and the Washington Post.”
The two-time Oscar winner also said he wouldn’t attend a White House showing of The Post.
“I don’t think I would. Because I think that at some point — look, I didn’t think things were going to be this way last November. I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville [Va.] and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers,” Hanks said.
Director and producer Steven Spielberg and actors Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep on stage during The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Official Academy Screening of The Post at the MOMA Celeste Bartos Theater on December 7, 2017 in New York City. (Lars Niki/Getty Images for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences )
“And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts. You don’t take to the ramparts necessarily right away, but you do have to start weighing things,” Hanks continued. “You may think: ‘You know what? I think now is the time.’ This is the moment where, in some ways, our personal choices are going to have to reflect our opinions. We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go.”
Tom Hanks in The Post (TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION AND STORYTELLER DISTRIBUTION CO. LLC., 2017)
In an interview earlier this month with David Axelrod for CNN’s The Axe Files, Hanks said it “concerns” him how much President Trump challenges the press.
Since 20th Century FOX released the first trailer for The Post last month, the film has been applauded and praised as a perfectly timed celebration of feminism and press freedom.
The drama about the publication of the Pentagon Papers is significant today, Hanks says, because “the Nixon administration tried to stop the story from being published. They took on the First Amendment by saying: ‘You can’t tell that story, and if you do, we’re going to threaten you.’ That is going on, of course, right now.”
The Post hits theaters on December 22, 2017.
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‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.