News of the World
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News of the World

News of the World Hanks’s stabilising believability can anchor any film, but this is a peach of a role for the actor, News of the World paired here with the German child star of System Crasher, Helena Zengel. His part, that of Civil War veteran Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a decent man who travels from town to Texas frontier town reading the newspapers to settlers, is a steady yet quietly tormented presence. Zengel plays Johanna, a 10 year-old girl taken by the Kiowa tribe after they killed her parents six years prior. Now her adoptive family has also been murdered and she is being returned to an aunt and uncle she doesn’t know.

What’s unexpected about News Of The World, and beautifully conveyed through DoP Darius Wolski’s wide-screen lens and production design by David Crank, is how relevant such an old-fashioned Western can feel today. This world of Reconstruction, with its Civil War detritus, rampant racism and dispossessed Native American tribes, is conveyed via a deft screenplay by Greengrass and Lion’s Luke Davies (adapting the 2016 novel by Paulette Giles). What the audience sees and can recognise is an America which has been ripped asunder, where suspicion and hostility reign and life is bitter and hard and cheap.

Duration: 118 min