by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Streep & Hanks
Streep & Hanks
(c) 20th Century Fox

Oscar nominations do not come out until late January, but even under a partial embargo reviewers who have seen an early screening of Stephen Spielberg's "The Post" have started touting 'best picture.'

The film recounts how the Washington Post's publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) teamed up to catch up with The New York Times and publish the Pentagon Papers, risking court sanctions to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets related to the Vietnam War that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents.

Blurbs recount audience applause (six separate times) during the screening, one predicts "it'll probably win a bunch of Oscars" and calls it Streep's best performance since "Devil Wears Prada." 

Clayton Davis, writing for Awards Circuit which tracks Oscar and other buzz,  described it as " a timely look at the importance of journalism. Hanks rips his role to shreds while Streep shows up with an angelic grace."

During an interview roundtable with the Hollywood Reporter , producer Amy Pascal ( Columbia head at the time of the North Korean computer ravaging of emails and films), stressed that Katharine Graham owned The Post when making the Pentagon Papers decisions.

"The world changes when women own things, not when they work for men," Pascal told the Hollywood Reporter. Referring to the "earthquake" of sexual harassment claims, Streep revealed, "We are on our way to something better."

Spielberg during the Q and A spoke of the political similarities between 2017 and 1971. 

"I  could not believe the similarities between today and what happened with the Nixon administration against their avowed enemies The New York Times and The Washington Post. I realized this was the only year to make this film," Spielberg said. 

The Post will open in two waves. Limited runs before Christmas; nationwide by mid-January. 

For the Hollywood Reporter roundtable, click: