I wasn’t quite expecting this to be The Post 2: Watergate, but man this was different. In a sharp contrast to Spielberg’s heavy-handedness, Pakula didn’t make an easy movie to follow. It’s incredibly dense with information, seemingly disinterested in simplifying to get to the point. Not knowing much about Watergate beforehand, I wasn’t able to follow every fizzling plot thread, but the emotional through-line was so well put together that it never lost me. I was struck by how realistic it feels — the events unfolding naturally and the camera just happening to be rolling nearby, capturing the dizziness and unease, warts and all. Loved the split diopter shots very much.
Sidenote: Now I get the final scene in The Post — it’s close to a shot-for-shot replica of this film’s opening. That only makes it more of a wink-wink tacky addition, though.