*Not a ton to spoil here…
Five years after the end of the Civil War, Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd crosses paths with a 10-year-old girl taken by the Kiowa people. Forced to return to her aunt and uncle, Kidd agrees to escort the child across the harsh and unforgiving plains of Texas. However, the long journey soon turns into a fight for survival as the traveling companions encounter danger at every turn — both human and natural.
“It’s hard finding your way.”
Imagine for a second living in a world where we do not see every piece of news the second it happens. We are so reliant on Twitter (shoutout @ajgold20) and other 24 hour news sources that is just the norm for us now. Paul Greengrass’ new movie News of the World takes the idea of a society where they still get their news delivered to them orally and maybe only once a month.
Tom Hanks stars as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd a former Conferderate soldier who now goes around delivering News to towns in the South. He takes his job seriously and understands his responsibility to the people. When he meets a young girl Joanna who has been taken by Native Americans, he is entrusted to return her to her family. through this journey though the two bond and form a family of their own, which helps Joanna while she deals with tragedy.
Paul Greengrass (Bourne 2, 3, and 5, Captain Phillips) brings his signature visceral shaky cam style to this production. However we get incredible shots of vistas and plains showing the beauty of the country. This is also probably the slowest moving story he has ever made, as basically it is just The Captain and Joanna (Helena Zengel) traveling around together. Even though there are still some signature action scenes and one quite harrowing shootout that this Western sorely needed.
Stock Neutral – Tom Hanks
As we discussed in Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and Greyhound the guy is a legend. There is not much he can do at this point to make his stock go up or down. However, this is another great performance from him. We have never really seen him do a Western like this so to see Tom Hanks in a new role was fun.
Who’s That Guy/Gal?
Ray McKinnon – 87 IMDB Acting Credits
Where are my Deadwood heads at? Fine fine, maybe you saw Ford v Ferrari? Ray McKinnon has been consistenly giving us fun side performances for a long time and he does it again here. He is perfectly cast to be in this Western and I could not have been happier to see him.
*A couple other tidbits
- It was great to see the two of them communicate in English and in German, it gave you a sense of his empathy and compassion.
- I thought Helena Zengel was great in her role, even if it was more or less just repeating Hanks’ character for most of the movie.
- The James Newton Howard score was fantastic.
- This movie made me wish we got more Westerns these days like Hell or HIgh Water, or No Country for Old Men.
News of the World is a simple and slow moving story that shows how two people from completely different backgrounds can find common ground, and even love. I was not compelled the entire way through, however the score and the incredible landscapes were enough to get me to enjoy it.
*You can find my 2020 Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
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