Anytime Tom Hanks headlines a movie, it should have your undivided attention. In advance, it was hard to correlate the title “News of the World” with the previews. But it gets explained to the audience early in this film set shortly after the end of the Civil War.
This is a simple, quiet, slowly crescendoing movie where we are all hoping for a happy ending.
The pairing of Hanks (Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd) as the traveling news man and fiercely tough, beautifully casted “lost” Johanna is perfect.
The generally barren but immensely impressive visuals of the Texas Plains simply shouts “hard life to all” (humans and animals).
Throughout the film, Hanks’ relentless efforts to get Helena Zengel (Johanna) back to home/family while dealing with a huge language barrier (she speaks some German and mostly a Native American dialect) is filled with obstacles. Her sullen, tough, focused & survival skills demeanor steals the movie. The very few times a smile breaks out, she lights up the entire West.
Beautiful laid out soundtrack.
Folks, it works