It’s funny to think about all the things in my life that are going to be defined by being either “before” or “after” baby B was born. And currently funny in my mind is movies – I used to go to the movies a LOT. Like, go back in the movie tag here, especially in 2016 and just look at all the movies I went to that year. It didn’t hurt that we lived within walking distance of a movie theater, and I had that “advantage” going back about 7 years even to when I lived in Maryland. Never underestimate how living within walking distance of a service will increase your chance of using it. I mean, in that same Maryland apartment I was within walking distance of a lake with a running trail around it, and I actually used to go for runs on a semi-regular basis.
But I’m getting off track. Movies. Back in early February, before the Oscars, the Boy and I were talking about how we wanted to see a movie, and we wanted to see one before the baby was born. So we looked at what was playing at our local theater, and decided that we would see The Post. We both like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, it was a Spielberg movie, and nominated for a bunch of awards. Plus, it’s about my favorite newspaper, The Washington Post, being awesome and standing up to a corrupt administration. So yeah. Obvious choice.
It was…good? No, wait, remove the question mark. It was good. The only reason I had that question mark there was the whole “nominated for lots of awards” thing. I mean, it was a good movie. We enjoyed ourselves, but from what I’d heard, there were lots of other movies that were even better, and in more thought provoking, creative, unique ways. This movie felt like the sort of old-school Oscar-bait with high-profile, well-regarded actors; a director who has created his fair share of classic films already, and a topic that is both historical and relevant to what’s going on in the world today. But these days, that’s not necessarily good enough. And I think that’s reflected in how it did during awards season. Sure, it got nominated for a bunch of stuff, but only 2 Oscar nods, and it didn’t really win much. Heck, even the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association only gave it one award, and that was for “Best Portrayal of Washington D.C.” And how many other major films were there last year that had a major portion of the plot set in the Nations Capital?
Which again, isn’t to say it’s not a good movie – it is! It was highly enjoyable! Meryl Streep streeps it up, and is terrific as Katharine Graham. More than anything, the movie and Streep’s portrayal make me want to read her autobiography “Personal History“. I do believe my parents have a copy sitting on their shelves somewhere that I might be able to borrow instead of enriching the current owner of the Washington Post (Amazon owner Jeff Bezos) by buying my own copy. The movie also made me proud to be a Washingtonian, and to say that the Washington Post is my hometown paper. To know that the reporters that are doing their job every day for that institution have a legacy of having done great things in the past that they need to live up to.
So is it the best possible movie that I could have seen prior to the Oscars? Probably not. Was it a good one to have on my list as the “last movie I saw before having a baby and not seeing a movie again for x amount of time?” Oh, definitely. I will take a quality film that inspires me to learn more any day of the week.
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role.