Mike's Letter


Wow, do we have a movie lovers paradise in TC this coming weekend -- and you don't want to miss it!

This weekend, at the State and Bijou, I'm bringing two of the very best films of the year -- Steven Spielberg's searing, exciting "The Post", and Golden Globe Best Picture winner (Drama), "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

You will not find two better films this year, and both are sure to receive multiple Oscar nominations later this month. 

"The Post," which will be at the State, is one of the most important and exciting newspaper thrillers ever made. And although "All the President's Men" certainly set a very high bar, as great as that film about Nixon and the Washington Post was, its story was just about a "third-rate break-in" at the Watergate Hotel. The crime? Trying to bug the phones of the Democratic Party. 

In this new movie, "The Post," we have a story about an issue 100 times more important than the Watergate break-in. It's about the Washington Post publishing classified documents revealing 30 years of the government lying to us about Vietnam -- and they published this while the war was still going on. It was stunning at the time -- how President Johnson and the Pentagon made up a fake attack on a US boat to start the war in full force. 58,000 Americans and at least 2 million Vietnamese died as a result of these lies. The crime of the century. 

A Pentagon contract worker, Daniel Ellsberg, could no longer take his participation in the lie and decided to copy the documents and give them to the New York Times. The Times began publishing them and Nixon went crazy and got the courts to tell the Times to cease and desist. The Times cowered to the court and complied. Ellsberg then gave the documents to the Washington Post. The Post, unlike the Times, decided to ignore the judge. They decided the public had a right to know. But would they risk prison to do this? It was a scary moment, and this wonderful movie captures every minute of the intrigue.

The subtext to all this was that the Post was run by a woman -- something that just didn't exist in 1971 and to this day barely does. Men, powerful men, threatened Katherine Graham and she knew she was in danger, personally and professionally. A decision like this was best left to "the men." 

It is impossible to watch this film outside of the context of what we are living through now. The crimes of presidents. The need for a free press. The role of women holding power (or not). And to have Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks take you through this mesmerizing story -- wow upon wow. It doesn't get better than this. Do not miss this important movie, a movie for our times. See it with a few hundred other TC movie lovers and citizens! You will not regret it!

And over at the Bijou, one of my favorite films of the year, one of my top 3 ("Lady Bird" and "Get Out" being the other two, with a few other honorable mentions) -- "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." This story, directed by the great Irish filmmaker Martin McDonagh ("In Bruges"), is so unique and so profound I was overwhelmed by it every step of the way. This is literature on screen. A smart film for smart people. Starring my buddy Woody Harrelson (who hopes to come see us in TC!) and the great Frances McDormand, this film is a story of a mother's search for justice, her righteous revenge, and, perhaps, a chance at redemption. 

I LIVE for movies like this. As we say at the festival, "Just Great Movies," and this is one of best we've brought to TC. Come with no expectation, sit back, and soak in a story you've never experienced on the silver screen. In addition to its Best Picture win on Sunday, it also won Best Actress (McDormand), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), and Best Screenplay (McDonagh). All well deserved. See "The Post" and see this film! It's why we restored and opened these theaters, to bring you the absolute best in cinema. This week you get a powerful double bill. 

See you at the movies!

Michael Moore