“NEWS OF THE WORLD” – 8.5
In a word: Heroic
That “In a Word” refers mostly to the main character deftly played by Tom Hanks, in which the former Civil War captain starts out in a low-key role that lulls the audience until he inadvertently meets up with a lost and fumbling little blonde-haired girl who had been left behind by her adopted Indian Tribe. Now a travelling preacher/teacher of sorts, Hanks tries many times to leave the mute child with another adult family on the prairie, but her behavior and absence of communication leaves prospective adopters at a loss, thus returning the rejected child back to Hanks, again and again.
The movie depicts a myriad of struggles, besides the harsh elements in the Texas prairies of 1870 in which the rugged old man and the child face death, destruction, starvation and violent criminals along the way. The two eventually bond which brings the viewer into their hearts.
This captivating film shows us the profound morality of a returned old military man who becomes a lifesaver for a ten-year old child. The scenic photography in this movie is spectacular from all angles. Hanks, a top-rate actor throughout his career, will undoubtedly be nominated for an Oscar.
The attention given to the child actress will captivate all audiences, as this young girl, now 12, rises to a level for child acting rarely seen in our lifetimes. Her real name is Helena Zengel, who originally hailed from Germany. She received various accolades in Europe for her 2019 role in the foreign film, System Crasher, for which she won four Best Actress awards. I foresee her not only being nominated for best supporting actress in this film, she will win.
Rated PG. There is a scene or two with profanity but it’s not rife. The viewer is also provided a few scenes involving violence, pain and suffering.
A slow start will bring some ratings down, but the storyline is too emotionally powerful not to give it a high rating.
I give this movie 8.5 out of 10.
A point of trivia: What do the following movie titles have in common? “Sully” … “Saving Private Ryan” … “Captain Phillips” … “Apollo 13” …“News of the World.” Main stars are all cast as a current or prior military Captain by…(Drum roll please)… Tom Hanks.